McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Bartley, Nebraska, man accused of murdering a 14-year-old McCook girl waived his preliminary hearing this morning in Red Willow County court in McCook.
Judge Anne Paine ordered Stathis Sebastian Mobley Kirkpatrick to appear in district court on Monday, March 7, at 3 p.m., to face first degree murder charges in the death of Kailee Nichole Clapp, a freshman at McCook Senior High.
Kirkpatrick, who turns 19 years old on March 5, is also charged with use of a knife or other deadly weapon to commit a felony, tampering with physical evidence; and unlawful burial (throwing away or abandoning human skeletal remains), each a felony charge.
Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood accuses Kirkpatrick of killing Clapp on or about Jan. 21, either "purposely and with deliberate and premeditated malice" or "in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a kidnapping."
Kirkpatrick was accompanied into the courtroom this morning by Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon and his deputies. The defendant appeared wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, leg shackles and handcuffs, but without the long, purple hair style he wore at his arraignment Jan. 27. With family members seated on a courtroom bench behind him, he answered "yeah" and "yes" to questions from Judge Paine.
Judge Paine ordered that Kirkpatrick continue to be held without bail. He is incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail in Holdrege, and is represented by Lexington attorney, Derek Mitchell.
Kailee Clapp went missing through the night of Jan. 20 or early morning of Jan. 21. She wasn't in her room when her sister went to get her up for school at 7 a.m., and her mother called police officers at 7:11 a.m.
As friends and family tried to find and/or contact Kailee throughout the day of friday, Jan. 21, Kirkpatrick told Clapp's father that he and Kailee had not spoken for a couple weeks, but then he said they had spoken on the phone the night before. McCook police officers investigated throughout the day, and contacted Kirkpatrick because they felt he may have been the last person to have talked to Clapp before she was discovered missing.
Under questioning by a McCook police officer, Kirkpatrick said that he and Kailee had spoken a couple times, possibly between 10 p.m and midnight.
Kirkpatrick said that when he went to Kailee's house, he discovered an unknown male, who had a full-sized black Dodge pickup, attacking Kailee in the alley behind her home. Kirkpatrick said he tried to attack the male subject, who then hit Kailee with his pickup. Kirkpatrick told the officer that he put Kailee in the bed of his own pickup to take her to the hospital, but the unknown male attacked Kirkpatrick, hit Kirkpatrick with his pickup and put Kailee's body in his own pickup.
Kirkpatrick told officers he chased the male to the Bartley cemetery, where the male burned Kailee's body. Kirkpatrick told a McCook police investigator that he went into the graveyard and saw where Kailee was lying. Kirkpatrick told officers he did not think of calling for help while he was chasing the male subject.
A McCook police officer and a Red Willow County sheriff's deputy found Kailee's body in the Bartley Cemetery late Friday, Jan. 21. An autopsy performed over the weekend in Omaha positively identified the body as that of Kailee Clapp.
A candlelight vigil was performed for Kailee on Jan. 25, and memorial services were Jan. 27. Her family plans an inurnment at a later date.
First degree murder is a Class I or IA felony punishable by life in prison or death. Use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony is a Class II felony punishable by 50 years in jail.
Each of the charges of tampering with physical evidence and unlawful burial is a Class IV felony punishable by 5 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.