A 14-year-old cold case was resolved Monday when Larry Gier Jr. of Redfield pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, burglary and theft in Bourbon County District Court, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced in a news release.
The victim, Gregory Hines of Fort Scott, disappeared in July 1998. Gier admitting killing Hines and entered his guilty pleas after ongoing investigations by the Fort Scott Police Department, Bourbon County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Highway Patrol, the release said.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the proceeding took place before District Judge Mark Ward at the Bourbon County Courthouse.
Gier, who is still in the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center, was originally charged with second-degree murder.
The investigation into Hines' death had remained open for more than 14 years, and was aided by DNA evidence, fingerprints and assistance from witnesses. Gier was arrested in Redfield on May 9, 2011.
The case was prosecuted by Bourbon County Attorney Terri Johnson and Kansas Assistant Attorney General Kristiane Bryant.
Gier is scheduled to be sentenced in Bourbon County District Court at 10 a.m. March 26, the release said. Under 1998 sentencing guidelines, the involuntary manslaughter charge carries a sentence of 31 months to 13 months; the burglary charge carries sentence of 11 months to 34 months for a severity level 7 felony, and for theft, five months to 17 months.