By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
A preliminary hearing set for a father and son accused of allegedly beating a man has been rescheduled for Aug. 11.
The latest delay in the case against Alexander Avila-Ortiz, 20, and his father, Eliseo Avila, 46, came Wednesday morning when prosecuting attorney Russell Hasenbank said the state was not prepared to proceed with its case.
Hasenbank said the state was missing two key witnesses, including an emergency room doctor from Liberal and an eyewitness at the scene of the alleged crime.
Hasenbank said Tyler Eaton, the eyewitness, had been served with a notice to appear, but he has not been seen or heard from for approximately a week. The ER doctor, he said, had not been served.
On April 22, attorneys for Avila-Ortiz had requested a motion to set bond for the suspect. Wednesday morning, Judge Margaret Alford set that bond at $30,000. Avila has bonded out, and one of the conditions of Avila-Ortiz’s bond is that his father is responsible for arranging the bond.
Alford also said Avila-Ortiz is not to have any contact with his father, the victim, Anthony Martinez Jr., 20, or the victim’s family. The attorneys representing Avila and Avila-Ortiz had no objections to any of the requests.
The next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 11 in Seward County District Court.
Avila and Avila-Ortiz were arrested March 29 for allegedly beating Martinez, during an altercation in the 100 block of West Hickory in Liberal.
According to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Patrick McClurg, both father and son, “beat the man with an object causing severe head injuries.” McClurg added “The man was later transferred to Wichita with life threatening injuries.”
When arrested, both father and son were charged with attempted murder, but Seward County District Attorney Don Scott said if Martinez died, the charges would’ve been changed to second degree murder.
According to a family member, as of Wednesday, Martinez is currently in a rehab center in Gardner.