Officers cleared in Leavenworth shooting that kills little girl - KCTV5

Officers cleared in Leavenworth shooting that kills little girl

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Leavenworth County Attorney Todd G. Thompson said Friday that the officers involved in the pursuit and shooting that left a little girl dead didn't break any laws.

Thompson said his office determined that Officers Steve Brandau and Ruth Hensleigh didn't violate any laws and no charges will be filed.

Thompson didn't say whether one of the officers or suspect Marcus McGowan was responsible for fatally shooting 5-year-old Cadence Harris on July 18. 

"At this point, we will not disclose further details in this matter as it is directly related to a pending criminal case and our ethical obligations forbid the release of more information at this point in the proceedings," Thompson said in a statement.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation undertook the review of the officers' actions and then forwarded their findings to Thompson.

The announcement about the officers came the same day as McGowan appeared in court. His defense attorney sought for his bond to be reduced, but the judge rejected the request. McGowan is due back in court on Sept. 9.

McGowan is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Cadence's death. He is also facing other charges including aggravated child endangerment.

Cadence died after McGowen allegedly abducted her from an Atchison home and became involved in a high-speed chase with authorities. McGowan allegedly turned his weapon on police after he crashed in a construction zone in Leavenworth and they fired multiple shots at him.

Cadence's mother, Christina Harris, said she and McGowan got into a fight.

Harris said he pulled a gun on her, so she had to run to a neighbor's house to call police. By the time she went back to the home, McGowan had taken her daughter.

McGowan was not the child's biological father, but he had an on-again off-again relationship with Harris and was like a father to Cadence, family members say.

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