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Phillip Lieurance Extradited to Kiowa County, Will Face Charges in Murder of 2 Emporia Women Bond Set at $1 Million

By Raina Lucero

June 7, 2024

Phillip Lieurance appeared before the Kiowa County District Court via Webex from the Prowers County Jail on June 6, 2024. This hearing marks a critical step in a case that has garnered substantial attention due to the serious nature of the charges and the complex legal journey involved.

Lieurance, an Emporia man, has been in the custody of the Department of Corrections in El Dorado, Kansas, following his convictions and sentencing for aggravated battery and aggravated battery DUI. These charges stem from a September incident on the Kansas Turnpike, where Lieurance rammed his SUV into another vehicle. He was sentenced to a total of 52 months for these offenses.

However, Lieurance’s legal troubles extend beyond Kansas. Colorado authorities are now poised to prosecute him for the alleged murders of two women, Linda Estrada and Amy Ford, who were reported missing from Emporia and whose remains were later discovered near Eads, Colorado.

The remains of the women were found with the help of Lieurance after being extradited the first time from Kansas to Colorado where he assisted local and state agencies in finding the bodies of the women.

According to District Attorney Josh Vogel in his request for 1-million-dollar cash only bond, the wounds on the heavily decomposed bodies matched the description Lieurance gave as to how he told authorities he murdered the women and tried to dispose of their bodies.

After the bodies were recovered and Lieurance was questioned by authorities in Colorado he was then returned to Kansas to face his legal battles there. At the time of his conviction in Kansas it was not clear whether Lieurance would be extradited back to Colorado to face his original charges listed in the warrant for his arrest and extradition to Colorado or serve his 52-month sentence before he would see the inside of another Colorado court room.

Prior to the June 6 hearing, Lieurance was extradited from the El Dorado Department of Corrections to Kiowa County and ultimately to the Prowers County Jail. This transfer was crucial for Lieurance to face charges in Colorado. The hearing, presided over by the Honorable Judge Michael Davidson, was an advisement hearing, a procedural step where the accused is informed of the charges and bond conditions are set.

Lieurance, represented by court-appointed attorney Heather N. Gioffredi, appeared alongside counsel Alex Egri, who participated via Webex. The prosecution was led by District Attorney Joshua Vogel and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Esh.

The primary focus of the June 6 hearing was to establish bond conditions for Lieurance. District Attorney Vogel presented videos from body-worn cameras of Department of Corrections officers. These videos captured Lieurance making disturbing comments toward fellow inmate, the husband of one of the victims while incarcerated in Lyon County. The prosecution argued that these interactions highlighted the potential threat Lieurance posed, justifying a high cash-only bond.

Despite objections from the defense, who argued that Lieurance lacked the financial means to post such a bond, Judge Davidson sided with the prosecution. He set a cash-only bond at $1 million, citing the gravity of the charges and the evidence presented.

The case has been marked by bizarre and outlandish defenses from Lieurance. One notable claim he made in interviews was that at least one of the victims was involved in human trafficking his daughter. The case’s complexity is further underscored by the multiple 911 calls made by both the victims and Lieurance during their journey from Emporia to Denver, passing through several Colorado counties.

At this time formal charges have not been brought against Lieurance, Vogel stated during the hearing he is waiting to find out if his request for help on the case is granted or not. Judge Davidson ordered the District Attorney’s office to submit formal charges within ten days, indicating the possibility of additional charges if another prosecutor joins the case.

The next court appearance for Lieurance is scheduled for June 12, 2024, in the Prowers County Courtroom at 8:30 am at which time Lieurance will be advised of the charges against him.

This case continues to unfold, with significant legal and procedural challenges ahead. The outcome will be closely watched, given the serious nature of the allegations and the broader implications for interstate legal cooperation and justice.

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