State Files Formal Charges With Possible Connection To Murder Of Kansas Mother

By Fred Gough – Hutchinson Post

The state has filed formal charges against three individuals for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, but details are still being held by the state with prosecutor Steve Maxwell telling us he doesn’t comment on pending cases.

32-year-old Kylie L. Hartman, 34-year-old Jason Casanova and 27-year-old Matthew Barnes are all now charged in the case, and according to Maxwell they will be in court on Wednesday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, the three conspired with each other to commit or assist in the commission of the crime of aggravated robbery, which is the taking of property by force or threat of bodily harm, while one or more of the co-conspirators was armed with a handgun.

It goes on to say that one of the conspirators drove the other two to the location where they believed the intended victim lived, namely someone with the initials K. R. One of the conspirators then armed themselves with the handgun, and one of the conspirators hid or destroyed the handgun after the failed aggravated robbery, and that one or more of the conspirators entered into the residence they believed K. R. was in.

So does that mean they entered the home of Jennifer Heckel thinking she was K. R., and that this was the location she was at? No one from the District Attorney’s Office will comment on any connection or if there is a connection. District Attorney Keith Schroeder told us the same thing he has told everyone else in the media. That is, “we try cases in court, not in the media.”

None of the three have been charged with murder, but this will certainly feed the speculation of local residents.

The complaint only says it occurred in June of this year. Heckel was shot to death in her northwest Hutchinson home on June 14. She was at home with her small son, while her husband was working out of town. He was cleared of any suspicion, early on.

Barnes, whose bond is set at a half million dollars is being held at the Butler County Jail in El Dorado, while the other two remain in the Reno County Jail. Casanova has a bond of 100-thousand dollars, while the bond for Hartman is set at 150-thousand.

Again, the three are expected in court as early as Wednesday to hear the formal reading of charges.