Judge calls hearing in murder trial

By Katherine Wartell

Domingo Soto, a man accused of aiding and abetting in the December 2011 first-degree murder of Steve Freel, appeared in Riley County District Court Friday for what was effectively a pre-trial hearing before his scheduled October jury trial.

The hearing was called by District Judge Meryl Wilson to settle last-minute issues before Soto, 42, appears in court for his five-day jury trial starting on Oct. 29. Neither the state, represented by Assistant County Attorney Barry Disney, nor Soto, represented by Richard Seaton Jr., brought forth any motions.

Soto is accused of providing Michael Layne, 20, with the firearm Layne allegedly used to shoot and murder Freel, whose body was found on Dec. 7, 2011 near the 5300 block of N. 48th Street.

Soto pleaded not guilty to that charge in May, as well as not guilty to intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of stolen property.

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