Man accused of killing 5-year-old girl could face federal charge - KCTV5 News

Man accused of killing 5-year-old girl could face federal charges

Posted: Updated:
McGowan in court on Thursday McGowan in court on Thursday
LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -

Prosecutors said Thursday that they may transfer the case of a man accused of killing a 5-year-old girl during a shootout with police from state to federal court.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson discussed the possible change of venue as Marcas McGowan's defense team waived their right to a preliminary hearing.

McGowan quietly looked around as he entered the courtroom Thursday morning.

McGowan was charged with first-degree felony murder in July in connection with the death of Cadence Harris. He also faces two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated child endangerment, felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing.

If the case is transferred to federal court, Thompson said he believes the federal government would still want him involved.

“They are reviewing the indictment within the next 30 days with a grand jury and they are looking to have me appointed special prosecutor," Thompson said.

Under Kansas law, Thompson would have few options for seeking the death penalty. Federal prosecutors would have more options, but there has been no public talk about seeking the death penalty in this case.

McGowan is accused of taking his estranged girlfriend's daughter from the Atchison home of a McGowan family member and becoming involved in a high-speed chase in Platte County in Missouri.

The July 18 chase crossed the state line into Leavenworth County, which could give the U.S. Attorney's Office jurisdiction. McGowan allegedly turned his weapon on police after he crashed in a construction zone in Leavenworth and they fired multiple shots at him. Cadence died from a gunshot wound.

The question from that night and one that is still unanswered is whether the bullet that killed Cadence came from McGowan's gun or an officer's service weapon. Thompson said the officers in August were cleared of any wrong doing after an independent investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Debra Snider, defense attorney for McGowan, said she doesn't understand why the U.S. Attorney's Office would seek a change of venue.

"I'm not sure why feds would take this. I don't understand why do federal prosecution in lieu of state prosecution,” she said.

While Thompson said he cannot discuss the specifics, he believes the transfer is the best avenue to get justice for Cadence and her loved ones.

"My responsibility is to do what's best for Leavenworth County and what I feel is best for Leavenworth County," Thompson said.

A final decision on the transfer is expected before the end of the year.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:50:13 GMT
    It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >
  • 2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:39:49 GMT
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
  • Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-05-24 03:17:43 GMT
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.