This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 1, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Joining us is the district attorney prosecuting the BTK serial killer case, Wichita district attorney Nola Foulston. Nola, it's been 15 years. Did you think this day would ever come?
NOLA FOULSTON, WICHITA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, we had always hoped that this day would come, and here we are in now March 1, and we are preparing our trial for the case of State of Kansas versus Dennis Rader.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nola, you have charged this at first by complaint or information and you go to preliminary hearing. Do you then in your state indict? Is that the procedure?
FOULSTON: No, the procedure here is to start a case by complaint and information, listing the charges against an individual. We then proceed to a preliminary hearing, which is a probable cause finding — it's sort of a mini-trial — at which time, the court makes determination as to whether probable cause exists to bind the individual over for trial.
At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing is the arraignment portion of the case, at which time the individual will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. And at that point in time, motions and other pre-trial matters are taken up and the case rolls on towards the trial phase.
At this point, the case is set for March the 15th for a preliminary hearing, but it is our experience that in large cases, complicated cases, that I doubt that the preliminary hearing date of March the 15th will be the target date for that hearing. I suspect that it would be moved forward and we would not have the hearing until sometime later, after there has been a lot of discovery by the defense counsel and the opportunity for them to familiarize themselves with the case before moving to the preliminary hearing phase.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I know that you can't discuss the actual evidence of the case. You won't do anything to jeopardize the prosecution. But tell me, what was it like behind the scenes when you and your colleagues and the detectives and everybody, at least from your perspective thought, We got the guy?
FOULSTON: Well, you know, Greta, this case has been in my office — I took office in 1989, and when I took office, along came the cold case of the BTK serial killer. So we have been working with law enforcement all these years on reviewing evidence and being updated as the case progressed.
In March, when the communication began again, I assigned Assistant District Attorney Kevin O'Connor, and you'll meet him later in this show, as our liaison between law enforcement. And so that we were completely immersed with law enforcement, as is the normal case with district attorney's office, to monitor and assist law enforcement in any way. So this isn't something that was just dropped on my desk last week.
Of course, as we worked along with law enforcement and watched the progress, it became increasingly clear to us that we had come very, very far in the last few weeks, to a point where there was a basis upon which charges might be filed. And when all of the ducks were in a row, so to speak, and the matters were ripe at that time, search warrants were issued, law enforcement became active, as you have noted from all of the media coverage, and at that time, Mr. Rader was taken into custody.
And at a point where the matter was then turned over to the district attorney's office, it became our obligation to review all of the facts and circumstances regarding this case in what we call a felony review, and determine what charges, if any, should be filed based upon the evidence and the facts and all of the materials that we were able to review in connection with this case to support allegations of 10 homicides. And those allegations are contained in the complaint and information that's available to the community and to the media through our Web site. And that has been filed in the court and is now available.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the chief public defender, Osborn, has the case now. Do you expect that he will take it through, or do you think he's going to hire counsel? Have you heard anything?
FOULSTON: Oh, no. Mr. Osborn has been charge of the public defenders office and is a qualified attorney, and as I've heard today, that he would have to remove himself off a number of cases. The public defenders office has handled a multitude of cases. My office has, as well. I'll be assisted during this trial. I will be the chief trial counsel on the case. My job is to not only administer the office of district attorney, but I'm also a trial counsel. And I'll be assisted by three other attorneys from my office.
It is a complex case. It will take a lot of time and dedication. But that's what we are here for. I'm not just an administrator, I'm a trial counsel.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, and we'll be watching. Thank you, Nola.
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