DNA sample links man to alleged rape reported in Merriam last year

Daniel Raymond Haller has been charged with rap and aggravated assault.
Daniel Raymond Haller has been charged with rape and aggravated assault.

An Overland Park man arrested last May in connection with an alleged rape that occurred a year ago in Merriam has DNA that matches a sample found on clothing of the victim, a police detective testified Thursday.

Merriam Police Det. Laura Naegele testified during a preliminary hearing for Daniel Raymond Haller, 38, in Johnson County Court. Haller has been charged with rape and aggravated assault in connection with the incident reported Sept. 17, 2015.

Naegele said Haller agreed to a voluntary interview May 3 at Merriam police headquarters. In addition to the DNA sample, the detective said Haller’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban, matched the description given by the alleged victim.

The victim told police she was outside her residence in the 8800 block of 64th Terrace at Pinegate Apartments when a man approached her at about 9:30 p.m.

“She felt that she’d possibly gotten into the vehicle voluntarily,” Naegele testified. “She said that Mr. Haller propositioned her while she was smoking on her porch, ‘come on girl, let’s go to a bar, you need a drink.'”

Naegele acknowledged during cross examination that the alleged victim initially told police she was pulled into the vehicle by her assailant. The woman also could not identify Haller in a photo lineup.

During his interview, Haller also said he didn’t recognize the woman when shown her photo. Police then obtained a search warrant to obtain another sample of Haller’s DNA which also matched the sample from the alleged victim’s clothing.

Haller was arrested May 4 and remains in Johnson County jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He was convicted in 2007 for aggravated robbery and served a six-year sentence.

At the conclusion of the testimony, Judge Brenda Cameron said there was enough evidence to continue the case and set Oct. 26 to either schedule a trial or hear further motions.

The case is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Walkiewicz, assistant district attorney. Haller’s defense attorney is Michelle Durrett.