Travis Belt, 25, pleaded not guilty to charges Sept. 8 during the arraignment in the case of the State of Kansas vs. Travis Ryan Belt.
Belt is charged with first-degree murder, or in the alternative premeditated first-degree murder, along with burglary and two counts of theft; one from allegedly stealing a TV, printer, roof rack and speakers at Walmart that night. Police believe a knife was stolen as well.
McPherson County District Court Judge John Klenda announced that the jury trial will be held Jan. 29 through Feb. 9, 2018.
Belt was arrested April 16 this year in regards to the murder of 58-year-old Steve Carlson, of McPherson.
On April 14, police responded to a call where an unknown caller stated that a friend was lying on the floor of his home, possibly deceased.
Officers arrived at 548 Eshelman, noticed signs of a break in, cautiously proceeded into the home and found the body of Carlson. Lacerations were visible on Carlson’s neck, his pockets turned inside out, with credit cards and a pool of blood around him, and what appeared to be a bread knife at his feet. In the preliminary hearing, the state’s witnesses did not discern whether the knife was used in self-defense or in the killing.
Belt is the son of Douglas Belt, who died while on death row on April 13, 2016. Douglas Belt, also known as the “I-70 rapist,” murdered Lucille Gallegos in 2004. Police never found the head of the Wichita woman.