A former Garden City police officer facing multiple charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Doug Heit appeared Friday alongside his attorney, Steve Cott, in Finney County District Court for what was scheduled to be a preliminary hearing. Cott, however, told District Court Judge Michael Quint that Heit had decided to waive his right to the hearing.
Quint bound Heit over for arraignment, but Cott asked for a case management conference to be scheduled prior to arraignment, and Assistant Attorney General Melissa Johnson agreed to the request. Quint scheduled the case management conference for 1 p.m. March 12.
Police arrested Heit on Sept. 23, 2018, on two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, then handed the case off to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.
The Kansas Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint on Oct. 1 accusing Heit of fondling or touching a child younger than 14 on six different occasions, and he subsequently was charged with six counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
All of the incidents, according to the complaint, happened in Finney County and involved the same child. Four took place between Aug. 1 and 25, 2018, one happened on or about Sept. 21, 2018, and one occurred between Sept. 22 and 23, 2018, according to the complaint, which states that the child was born in 2009.
Quint also granted a request by Cott, of Garden City, to add local attorney Lucille Douglass as co-counsel on Heit’s defense team.
Along with Johnson, Assistant Attorney General Michael Serra is also assigned to the case.
Heit was a decorated officer with the Garden City Police Department, where he served as an officer from July 2003 to March 2017, before becoming an evidence technician for the department.
Heit received Gold Awards of Valor from both the GCPD and the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police for his role in saving the life of a Garden City woman in January 2010. Heit was one of the officers who responded to the scene of an attempted murder and found a man on top of his ex-wife attempting to stab her. Heit testified during trial that he shot the man, Gustavo Ramos-Beleta, twice. Ramos-Beleta was later convicted and sentenced to more than 48 years in prison.
Heit left the GCPD on Aug. 15, 2018.
Contact Brett Riggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.