Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Svoboda charged with murder


September 16, 2021

Charges have now been filed against Edward Svoboda in relation to the death of his wife last week. Kathleen Svoboda was allegedly hit by a truck and trailer in her back yard.

Svoboda has been charged with murder in the first degree. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment at minimum, and could be given the death penalty, a $10,000 fine or both.

He has also been charge with murder in the second degree, which carries a minimum penalty of 20 years’ incarceration and a maximum penalty imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.

The difference between murder in the first and second degree is premeditation. To be convicted of murder in the first degree, Svoboda must be found guilty of purposely killing a human being with “premeditated malice.”

Svoboda also faces a third felony charge of aggravated homicide by vehicle, carrying maximum penalty of 20 years’ incarceration, a $10,000 fine or both.

Svoboda was arrested on September 5 after allegedly causing the death of his wife of 53 years. Three deputies from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports that Edward had driven his truck into the back yard and struck his wife. She was pronounced deceased when the Hulett ambulance arrived on scene.

According to the incident report, deputies learned that Edward had driven to the neighbor’s house and asked for a ride, saying his wife had kicked him out of the house. Edward allegedly then got into another person’s car and drove back to his residence.

Shortly after, Kathleen allegedly sent multiple text messages to a family member asking for help and saying her leg was broken. The family member went to the residence and found her in the back yard; at that time she was still alive and talking.

While investigating the scene, deputies determined that the victim had been hit and driven over by a pickup truck hauling a tandem axle trailer with skid steer on the trailer. Tire tracks allegedly showed where the truck had driven into the yard and turned left, and the position of the victim’s body was consistent with her being driven over by the trailer tires.

Bond has been set in this case at $3 million, cash only. A preliminary hearing has been set for September 17.


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