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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Manslaughter defendant appears with attorney

  • The Leavenworth man who's charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fatal shooting appeared in court Wednesday with his new attorney.
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  • The Leavenworth man who's charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fatal shooting appeared in court Wednesday with his new attorney.
    Justin M. Driscoll, 26, appeared with court-appointed attorney KiAnn McBratney.
    Driscoll was arrested Saturday in connection to the death of Dick Mathis.
    Mathis, 30, died Saturday morning. He was shot in the chin while he was a passenger in a pickup truck in the area of 18th and Cherokee streets, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.
    Police were called about the shooting at 2:41 a.m. Saturday after two people brought Mathis to Saint Luke's Cushing Hospital.
    Driscoll was one of the people who brought Mathis to the hospital, according to Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens.
    Kitchens said Mathis, Driscoll and two other men had been traveling in an extended cab pickup truck when a gun was discharged, wounding Mathis.
    The criminal complaint used to charge Driscoll with involuntary manslaughter alleges that reckless behavior was a factor.
    In court Wednesday, McBratney asked for additional time before scheduling a preliminary hearing in the case.
    A status hearing was scheduled for Aug. 16.
    McBratney also said she wished to represent Driscoll in a 2012 felony theft case that's still pending. In that case, Driscoll is accused of stealing fishing equipment from the Walmart store in Leavenworth.
    "I think it is in his best interest to represent him in all of them," McBratney said of the pending cases.
    McBratney said she can represent Driscoll pro bono in the 2012 case if necessary.
    Driscoll had another court-appointed attorney for the theft case. District Judge Gunnar Sundby said the other attorney is not yet qualified to be appointed to a case with a charge of the severity level of involuntary manslaughter, which is why Driscoll ended up with two court-appointed attorneys.
    The theft case was scheduled to go to trial Aug. 12.
    "We're asking that that be canceled for now," McBratney said.
    County Attorney Todd Thompson noted that witnesses already had been subpoenaed for the trial. The theft case is being prosecuted by another attorney in Thompson's office.
    Sundby said severals trials are scheduled for Aug. 12, and another case likely would be given priority. He agreed to cancel Driscoll's trial. He scheduled a pretrial conference in that case for Aug. 16.
    Driscoll was in custody when he appeared in court Wednesday. McBratney said she would file a motion regarding bond.
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