Judge suspends hearing for woman charged in sailor's death

Konnie Jan Glidden in court on Wednesday.
Konnie Jan Glidden in court on Wednesday.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A court hearing for a 40-year-old woman accused of murdering a sailor in 1992 ended abruptly on Wednesday when a judge suspended the proceedings after characterizing a lawyer in the case as unprofessional and sarcastic.

Konnie Jan Glidden, who is one of three people accused of murdering James Horton, was in court with her attorney, Kate Landess, to contend that investigators violated her civil rights during Horton's death investigation.

Glidden wanted her confession in Horton's death suppressed. Landess said that the confession was coerced.

After a five minute break on Wednesday, following testimony from an NCIS agent, the judge ended the hearing after he characterized Landess' demeanor as unprofessional and sarcastic.

"You're getting very close to spending some time somewhere else. And you're also getting very close to violating the oath you took about professionalism in my humble opinion," said Judge Markley Dennis to Landess. "So I suggest you refrain from those kinds of comments and you can dislike everything I'm doing and you can dislike me, but you're going to observe the proper decorum in this courtroom, okay?"

According to Dennis, Landess was an hour and 15 minutes late to the hearing. Landess said after the hearing she felt humiliated and did not have an excuse for being late.

"I agree with the judge that I should have called the clerk," Landess said after the hearing.

At one point, Dennis told Landess during the hearing,"We'll take a five minute break, because you're about to go to jail."

"It was very disappointing for me to have him say those things and get to the point that I apparently drove him to say those things was quite shocking," Landress said. "I'm very disappointed in myself. Because I admire him greatly. He's a great judge."

Glidden, along with Thomas Solheim and Charles Wetty, is charged with raping, beating and killing Horton, who was discovered bound and shot to death in a ditch near Summerville in the Fall of 1992.

According to investigators, Horton was kidnapped at gunpoint near Mall Drive and Montague Avenue in North Charleston.

An incident report states that Horton was taken to Glidden's house on Oakwood Avenue by Glidden, Solheim and Welty. Investigators say that the three beat and sexually assaulted Horton at the home.

Horton's body was found on the side of the road in Summerville with his hands bound behind his back and shot in the chest.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office says that at the time of Glidden's arrest, she was working for the Charleston Veterans Administration Hospital in Charleston. Investigators say that Glidden confessed to her role in Horton's death following her arrest.

The manhunt for the suspects spanned several states and nearly 18 years.

Kevin Bertram Lewis was also charged by investigators in the incident. Lewis was charged in Charleston county with misprision of a felony.

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