A judge on Thursday set a February preliminary date for two Kansas City men accused in an Overland Park homicide.
Which homicide, though, continues to be a mystery because the criminal cases against James A. Willis and Dale M. Willis remain sealed.
Both men were booked into the Johnson County jail last month on premeditated first-degree murder charges, and bond for each was set at $15 million.
The bonds are believed to be the highest ever in a Johnson County criminal case.
Multiple sources say the case involves the September shooting death of 24-year-old Jurl Carter outside a bar in the 7100 block of West 75th Street.
But citing the sealed cases, Johnson County prosecutors and Overland Park officials have declined to confirm that.
Attorneys Jason Billam and Craig Divine, appointed to represent the defendants, declined to comment after Thursday’s court appearance in Olathe.
A large number of family members of the two men attended the hearing but declined to comment.
Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Riebli did tell a judge that Dale Willis was alleged to be a leader of a “criminal organization” involved in drugs and guns and posed a “real threat to our community.”
The prosecutor made those comments after Divine asked the judge to reduce bond for Dale Willis.
District Judge Kelly Ryan denied the request.
Both Dale Willis, 33, and James Willis, 28, have prior felony convictions, according to area court records.
And James Willis recently was sentenced to two years in federal prison for violating terms of his parole after serving time for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to U.S. District Court records.
Their preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 9 and 10. Prosecutors will present evidence to the judge to determine if there is probable cause to take the cases to trial.