After more than 15 years, a case will be laid out beginning today in Mitchell County District Court for the August 2003 murder of Carol Fleming at her home in Beloit at age 51.
Facing first degree murder charges is Mrs. Fleming’s son, Charles “Chuck” Ray Fleming, who will be in court for the first of what is scheduled as a three day preliminary hearing.
Mrs. Fleming suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head, at close range, in her home in the early morning hours of August 16, 2003. She is reported to have been in bed with her boyfriend, Rick Harris of Burr Oak, at the time.
County attorney Mark Noah will lay out his case related to the charges filed in mid-July this year.
The Honorable Judge Deborah Wright will preside over the hearing and determine whether Mr. Noah has sufficient evidence for her to rule Fleming be held over for trial.
Fleming was arrested on July 16 by Johnson County authorities as the suspect in his mother’s murder before being returned to Beloit by Sheriff Tony Perez and Beloit Police Chief Dave Elam that same day. Fleming has been detained at the Mitchell County Jail since that time on a $1,000,000 bond.
He is being represented by court appointed attorney Julie Effenbeck of Salina.
According to Kansas Missing and Unsolved, on the night of the murder, Carol Fleming and Rick Harris had been at the Eagles club in Beloit, and then returned to her home and went to bed.
Chuck Fleming was living with his mother at the time and had parked his pickup in the garage. He said he “was in the process of feeding the dog when the cops showed up.”
Harris made the call to 911 upon realizing Carol had been shot in bed with him. No one claimed to have heard a gunshot when asked by authorities, and insufficient evidence was recovered at the scene of the crime to warrant any charges being filed against any suspect in the case during the course of the initial investigation immediately following the incident.
What had been a cold case for well over a decade caught a spark and quickly picked-up steam this summer. Leading to Fleming’s July arrest which provided as many or more questions than answers.
Those answers will begin to be revealed today. What changed after 15 years? What evidence may have been discovered or what information has come to light which led to authorities charging Fleming with his mother’s murder now in 2018?
We will provide updates on this story as pertinent information regarding the case becomes available.