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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Murder suspect makes first court appearance

  • Charges have been filed against the suspect in Friday's shootout in Leavenworth that left a young girl dead.
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    • Help from the public

      Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said investigators would still like the public's help with a probe into a Friday night shooting in Leavenworth. Anyone with ...

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      Help from the public

      Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said investigators would still like the public's help with a probe into a Friday night shooting in Leavenworth. Anyone with information about the case should contact the Leavenworth Police Department at (913) 682-CLUE or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

  • Charges have been filed against the suspect in Friday's shootout in Leavenworth that left a young girl dead.
    Marcas T. McGowan, 30, of Atchison, made his first appearance Wednesday morning in Leavenworth County District Court.
    He has been charged with first-degree felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated endangering of a child, and fleeing or attempting to elude police by engaging in reckless driving.
    "He was read those charges today in front of Judge (Gunnar) Sundby," Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
    The charges stem from an incident Friday night in north Leavenworth.
    McGowan allegedly exchanged gunfire with Leavenworth police officers and was wounded during the incident, which resulted in the death of 5-year-old Cadence Harris, of Leavenworth.
    Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said local police officers became involved after receiving a report of a car chase in Platte County, Mo., involving a person identified at that time as a kidnapping suspect who had a small child in his car.
    Kitchens said the incident started in Atchison before crossing into Missouri. The car eventually crossed Centennial Bridge into Leavenworth.
    McGowan was taken to the hospital after the incident, but he is now in custody at Leavenworth County Jail.
    Undersheriff Jim Sherley said McGowan arrived at the jail at about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday.
    The six charges were filed against McGowan at 4:28 p.m. Tuesday.
    Thompson said Sundby set a $1 million bond in the case.
    McGowan indicated he wants to hire his own attorney, according to court records.
    He is scheduled to return to court Aug. 8.
    Thompson and Kitchens answered questions about the case during a news conference Wednesday that followed McGowan's court appearance.
    The county attorney was asked why a kidnapping charge has not been filed.
    Thompson said charges were based on available evidence, but the investigation is ongoing.
    "At any moment in time, those charges may be amended," Thompson said.
    McGowan is accused of killing Harris during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony. Thompson filed two alternative versions of the murder charge that could be considered by jurors.
    One version alleges Harris was killed during the commission of aggravated endangering of a child. The alternative version alleges Harris was killed during the commission of fleeing or eluding a police officer.
    Thompson was asked if it's being alleged that McGowan shot Harris.
    Thompson said he wouldn't go into further details about that aspect of the case.
    Mark Malick, Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge, has said there is no evidence Harris was struck by bullets fired by police.
    Page 2 of 2 - Thompson said investigators still would like the public's help.
    Anyone with information about the case can contact the Leavenworth Police Department at (913) 682-CLUE or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

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