By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Officials with Seward County District Court have tentatively set May 19 as the next court date for three of the four suspects arrested in the alleged carjacking of a Liberal man’s vehicle at gunpoint in January.
Attorneys for Bobby Stensland, 19, of Dodge City, and Juan D. Garza, 26, and Matthew Perez, 27, both of Garden City, were not present at a scheduling hearing Monday morning.
The fourth suspect, Jose Gil, of Dodge City, is also wanted by Seward County authorities for his alleged part in the incident. He is currently in custody in Ford County.
The four men were arrested between Jan. 29 and March 1 by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to an earlier statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
All of the suspects face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges including aggravated robbery and kidnapping.
Garza had his first appearance in Seward County on Feb. 18 and has been charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and felony theft. He is also facing misdemeanor counts of criminal restraint and battery.
Stensland had his first appearance Feb. 21 and faces the same charges as Garza. Perez also faces the same counts, but his first appearance was March 3.
The men are allegedly involved in an incident that occurred on Sunday, Jan. 10, at about 8:20 p.m., when officers responded to the 200 block of South Virginia in Liberal for a reported carjacking.
The 34-year-old handicapped victim told investigating officers he was at a taco stand in the 400 block of South Kansas Avenue about an hour earlier when two Hispanic males, with bandannas covering their faces, got out of a large black SUV and got into his red 2001 Chevy Blazer.
The men ordered him to drive while they held him at gunpoint. The victim was directed to a field in the 500 block of East Oak where the men pushed him out of the vehicle and drove away. The victim had to crawl back through the field to the roadway to summon help.
The victim’s Blazer was recovered in Finney County on Jan. 11.
Each of the suspects arrested in this case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.