Hearing scheduled in former officer’s manslaughter case

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Matthew Harrington

A hearing is scheduled for Friday in the case of a former Leavenworth police officer who faces a manslaughter charge for a shooting that occurred while he was on duty.

Matthew R. Harrington, 27, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to a July 11, 2017, shooting that resulted in the death Antonio Garcia Jr. The shooting occurred while Harrington was working as a member of the Leavenworth Police Department.

Harrington later was fired from his job with the Police Department. Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens accused the former officer of violating a policy that governs deadly force.

A Leavenworth County grand jury indicted Harrington on the manslaughter charge in 2018.

Last year, District Judge Michael Gibbens ruled Harrington is not entitled to immunity from prosecution under state law. Gibbens left it up for a jury to determine whether Harrington’s use of deadly force was justified as self-defense.

Gibbens has since retired and the case is now assigned to District Judge Gerald Kuckelman.

There has not been much court activity in the case in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday’s hearing is scheduled as a status hearing. The hearing will be conducted using the Zoom online videoconferencing service.

Zoom is being used for many Leavenworth County District Court proceedings because of the pandemic.

Harrington remains free on bond. Court records indicate he lives in another state.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR