Court date set for Doctor suspected in kidnapping

MINDEN -- A hearing date of July 13 was set for a Carson City doctor accused of kidnapping his ex-wife from her Utah home.

Dr. Richard Conte, 52, appeared in a Douglas County courtroom Wednesday shackled at the feet and wrists and wearing laceless tennis shoes.

His attorney, Pat Walsh, asked Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl and prosecutors for an extension for a hearing designed to give the attorneys for both sides some time to negotiate.

"I doubt very much we'll resolve this one (through negotiation)," Walsh told EnEarl.

Conte is being held in Douglas County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail in the kidnapping of his ex-wife Lark Gathright-Elliott from her Utah home June 20.

Conte has been indicted on a federal kidnapping charge and also faces a kidnapping charge in Douglas County. Both jurisdictions apparently intend to prosecute.

Arkansas authorities also questioned Conte last week in connection with a May 19 double murder of Gathright-Elliott's ex-husband Carter Elliot and his employee Timothy Robertson. Both men were found with gunshot wounds to the head in Elliott's upscale Conway, Ark., home.

Walsh denied Conte's involvement, saying his client was in Utah and nowhere near the scene of the crime.

"Duck Creek, Utah, is 1,400 miles from Conway, Ark. There's no way physically possible he's responsible," he said.

Bobbi Good, a friend of Conte's for more than 30 years, said the Conte portrayed by the media is not the man she knows.

"He's the kindest man. We love him dearly," she said.


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