A former Leavenworth police officer has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for a 2017 officer-involved shooting.

 Updated 4:58 p.m. Aug. 13, 2018

A former Leavenworth police officer has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for a 2017 officer-involved shooting.

Matthew R. Harrington, 25, was taken into custody Monday morning and made an initial appearance in court, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

The charge of involuntary manslaughter stems from a July 11, 2017, shooting at 1708 Rose St. The shooting resulted in the death of Antonio Garcia Jr.

Harrington was an officer with the Leavenworth Police Department at the time of the shooting. He later was terminated from the department.

Thompson said Harrington is charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly unintentionally killing Garcia “during the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner.”

A law firm representing Harrington released a statement Monday: "Although tragic for all involved, Officer Harrington used force only in response to a clear and immediate threat to his life. We are confident that justice will be served when Officer Harrington is exonerated based upon the reasonableness of his actions."

The statement was released by attorney Nicholas Ruble on behalf of the firm of McCauley & Roach, Kansas City, Missouri.

Harrington was charged through an indictment returned by a Leavenworth County grand jury. Thompson said he could not discuss details about the evidence that was presented to the grand jury.

The indictment comes more than a year after the fatal shooting.

Thompson said the investigation took time and there was a need for additional information.

“Every case is different,” Thompson said.

Thompson said bond for Harrington had been set at $50,000.

Undersheriff Jim Sherley confirmed Monday that Harrington had been released from the Leavenworth County Jail on bond.

A status conference in the case is scheduled for Sept. 26 in Leavenworth County District Court.

Garcia’s wife was charged after the shooting for allegedly tampering with evidence. She later resolved her case by entering into a diversion agreement, according to court records.

As part of the diversion agreement, a stipulation of facts was prepared. The written document reviews what reportedly happened the night of the shooting.

According to the stipulation of facts, Harrington responded to the address on Rose Street in regards to a possible stolen vehicle.

While at the scene, Harrington determined there may have been a domestic dispute between Garcia and another party.

Garcia was not at the scene when Harrington arrived. But Garcia returned while the officer was there.

Garcia drove a vehicle into the driveway of the residence. Harrington attempted to speak with him.

Garcia reportedly had a pocket knife in his hand when he spoke to the officer. Harrington viewed the knife as a danger, according to the stipulation of facts.

The officer ordered Garcia to get out of the vehicle. But Garcia reportedly attempted to move the vehicle and was shot by Harrington, according to the stipulation of facts.

Harrington had been with the Police Department for about 22 months at the time of the shooting, according to Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens.

Harrington was placed on leave after the shooting.

In January, Kitchens announced that Harrington had been terminated following a professional standards investigation. The chief said he had concluded that Harrington violated a department policy concerning the use of deadly force.

Thompson said Monday that law enforcement is a cornerstone of the community. And despite the pending criminal case against Harrington, the county attorney said he believes members of the community will continue to respect law enforcement officers.

Kitchens released a statement Monday following the announcement of the indictment.

“The Leavenworth Police Department supports Mr. Thompson’s decision to impanel a grand jury to review the facts and circumstances of the officer-involved shooting with former Officer Matthew Harrington,” Kitchens stated.

Kitchens said “rigorous review of the facts and circumstances by outside entities” is required in this type of case to ensure the community’s trust in the police.

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