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Hays woman pleads no contest in sex crimes case

8/20/2013

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

A Hays woman arrested nearly two years ago -- along with her husband on a series of sex crimes involving a child -- pleaded no contest Monday in Ellis County District Court.

Beverly Ann Snavely pleaded no contest Monday before District Judge Ed Bouker to felony charges of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated indecent solicitation of a child.

Her husband, Clinton, also was arrested in October 2011 but was charged with 11 felony counts involving the same child. He was bound over Aug. 9 for trial on the charges, as well as three others that were filed against him after the victim testified at his preliminary hearing.

Defense attorneys sought to get nine of the charges dismissed, arguing the statute of limitations had expired. Bouker turned aside that request and bound him over on all 11 felony counts, plus the three additional charges that came to light during the preliminary hearing.

Clinton Snavely's arraignment on the 14 charges -- two counts of rape, eight counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and single counts of criminal sodomy and indecent liberties with a child -- has been set for Sept. 9.

The charges allege the abuse started in 2002 and continued through 2011, from the time the girl was 6 until she was almost 16.

Monday's hearing involving Beverly Snavely was part of a plea agreement worked out by Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees and Snavely's court-appointed attorney Kip Johnson.

The hearing, however, started nearly 40 minutes late, time Johnson spent explaining the details of the agreement to his client.

Despite that time, Snavely frequently seemed puzzled by some of the questions posed by Bouker, asking Johnson for clarification.

During the hearing, Bouker said Beverly Snavely had been found competent to stand trial on the charges pending against her even though she suffers from mental illness.

Three of the four competency evaluations given to her found she was able to assist in her defense, despite her mental illness.

Clinton Snavely also was examined and found competent by three of the four mental health professionals consulted, including one hired by his defense attorneys.

Under the terms of the plea agreement with Beverly Snavely, she is expected to be sentenced to 32 months in prison on each of the two charges she pleaded no contest to, sentences expected to run concurrently.

Because she has been in custody since Sept. 28, 2011, it's expected she will have served the rest of her sentence as of Jan. 12, if she gets full credit for good behavior, which is equal to 15 percent of the sentence.

She's expected to serve out the rest of her sentence in the Ellis County jail, although she's been housed elsewhere since her arrest. On Monday, she was wearing bright orange jail clothes bearing Trego County on her back.

After she serves the rest of her sentence, she's expected to be placed on four years probation through Northwest Kansas Community Corrections. Probation is to be served consecutively under the terms of the agreement.

Two other charges initially filed against Beverly Snavely -- aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent solicitation of a child -- were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.