Chuck Fleming to stand trial for mother’s 2003 murder


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Charles “Chuck” Ray Fleming, a 45 year old Beloit native, was living in the Kansas City, Kan. area at the time of his arrest in July on a charge of First Degree Murder in the death of his mother Carol Fleming. She died in the early morning hours of August 16 of 2003 after suffering a shotgun blast to the head. Chuck Fleming had been in court for what was scheduled as a three day preliminary hearing beginning Wednesday. However, the hearing was completed late yesterday and Chuck Fleming will stand trial.

County Attorney Mark Noah presented enough evidence to suggest that Fleming killed his mother with a .12-gauge shotgun found in his vehicle. Two shells were discovered by law enforcement in the back yard, near where the defendant kept dogs. He added that the wadding in those shells was consistent with that found on Carol Fleming’s bed after the shooting.

Physical evidence along with testimony from about 20 witnesses led 12 District Magistrate Judge Debra Wright to agree with the prosecution, and she bound Chuck Fleming over for trial. He will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 6, before 12th District Chief Judge Kim Cudney. A trial date will be announced at that time. Fleming pleaded not guilty to the charge after his arrest in July. If convicted at trial, he faces the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty.

Witnesses began to be called by the prosecutor, Mitchell County Attorney Mark Noah, on Wednesday morning. Noah had dozens of witnesses subpoenaed, and many of them were called to testify on Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

Noah questioned current and former law enforcement members who were at the scene on the night of the murder or otherwise involved in the investigation including Doug Daugherty, Frank Gent, and Landon Cleveland. He also questioned Dr. Christine Marozas, Wayne Ronnenbaum, Justin Paul, Aaron Cox, Chad Fleming, Harvey Cox, Rick Harris, David Harris, , Dan Fleming, Steve Fleming, Don Jones, Gary Sporleder, and Dwight Daniels between Wednesday and Thursday morning by noon.

Rick Harris of Burr Oak, Fleming’s boyfriend at the time, reported the incident the night of the murder. He awoke with her shot in her bed. He says that he has no recollection of hearing a gunshot. No one on the property at that time claims to have heard the shot. Those include Harris’ son David, who was a teenager at time, as well as Chuck Fleming.

Several other law enforcement officers including Former Beloit PD Chief Frank Gent and the late Ryan Stocker arrived and secured the crime scene located in the 600 Block of Fourth Street in Beloit. Former Sheriff Doug Daugherty and KBI Agent Pettijohn (ret.) were also on scene.

Gent worked to secure evidence on the scene. Under questioning from Noah, Gent confirmed the authenticity of nine front and back pages detailing evidence documention and containing his signature. Fleming’s court appointed attorney, Julie Effenbeck of Salina, presented what she claimed were 31 pages single-sided pages of evidence signed off by Ghent. He confirmed his signature on her presented documents. She then made an objection to the inclusion of the evidence sheets Noah asked Ghent to confirm saying they were inaccurate. Noah suggested some of the additional pages she referred to were duplicates. Judge Wright denied Effenbeck’s objection.

Noah asked KDWP&T Law Enforcement Division Captain Landon Cleveland if Chuck Fleming ever had a hunting license. Cleveland said there was no record of him ever having one going back as far as 1998.

Dan Fleming, Chuck’s uncle, testified that he had been approached in local bar by Chuck, sometime prior to Carol’s death, wanting to talk about not having received any money from his father’s estate following his death three years prior in 2000. Chuck’s grandfather, Charles Fleming, was the founder of what is now Sunflower Manufacturing. He sold his stake in the company during the 1980’s. Carol Fleming was in charge of the estate after her husband’s death. Dan testified that Chuck complained about the manner in which his mother was spending the inheritance and claimed he didn’t believe he would ever see any of that money from his father’s estate.

Steve Fleming, another uncle of Chuck, said he helped Carol with book work on her financial affairs because she was not proficient with computer book-keeping software. He said he filled out checks for different things, including payments to her boys, but she was the signature authority. Both of the Fleming uncles claimed to have familiar, but not tight-knit, relationships with Chuck and his brothers Travis, Chad and the late Brad Fleming.

Chuck had claimed during the investigative process that a shotgun in his possession was used the day before his mother’s death to shoot rats at the Mitchell County Landfill. Don Jones and Gary Sporleder, who both worked at the landfill at the time of Carol’s death, individually testified that guns are not allowed at the landfill. They were not aware of anyone ever shooting at the landfill and agreed that it is nearly impossible that someone could have been out there shooting without them hearing it. Jones said they can hear shots during hunting season from well beyond the approximately 40 acre landfill property.

Dwight Daniels, retired and former manager with Farmway Credit Union in Beloit testified that he was in charge of the Fleming Trust and later served as the executor of Carol’s will. He verified that the inheritance to the four boys was divided evenly and made in structured payments which they were set to receive when they individually hit ages 30, 38 and 45.

Brad Fleming died in early 2007 shortly prior to his 30th birthday in Denver, Colorado. His inheritance was divided evenly among the three living brothers according to Daniels. Daniels said Chuck had already received the full of his share of the total $200,000 plus inheritance left to the Fleming boys in their mother’s will.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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