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Murder, revenge, a witness recanting - Who will dig into a retired KCK police captain’s old cases?

KCTV5 Investigates
KCTV5 Investigates(KCTV5 News)
Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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(KCTV) -- Ahmon Mann is a convicted killer. He’s serving a life sentence for first degree murder. He swears he didn’t do it. And the “eyewitness” who testified in court recanted key testimony claiming he was pressured by KCK detectives.

Case facts

Robert Diaz was shot and killed late at night inside his car at 40th and Minnie in April of 2000.

The doors were left open, headlights left on. No one bothered to call police for at least 10 minutes.

The autopsy revealed seven gunshots.

Court records describe how the car slowly rolled away. Detectives could tell because glass was left on the ground--the car was in another location.

Ahmon Mann was brought in for questioning. We recently spoke to him from prison.

“I didn’t know what it was for, you know, when I came in. I asked what was this for like drugs? He said murder. I’m like murder?” said Ahmon Mann.

Mann admits he was a drug dealer on the streets of KCK and no angel.

But he claims he barely knew Diaz and certainly had no beef with him.

“I never knew him. I never knew him. ‘What’s up’ stuff like that. But besides that, I never had a conversation with this dude,” claims Mann.

Mann says he thought detectives were shaking him down for information. He was confident he would be cleared pointing to the lack of physical evidence in the case. There were no fingerprints on the car and investigators didn’t find any blood on Mann’s clothing.

But the case went to trail and with just one eyewitness. It was a teenager from the streets and a rival. Loren Artis pointed to Ahmon Mann as the killer. The jury believed Artis and Ahmon Mann was convicted of first-degree murder. He’s serving a life sentence.

Case takes a turn - is anyone watching?

Loren Artis has had a change of heart over the years. He even sent Mann a notarized letter to prison recanting and apologizing for his testimony.

“I claimed to be a witness to a murder on the Ahmon Mann case, when I wasn’t. I testified in open court, because I was forced by detectives to. I want to retract my statement because I feel guilty about what I have done and I feel like I was wrong” (read the full letter here)

“I was just happy that he was telling him the truth. And I thought I would just go home. I don’t know much about the law,” explains Ahmon Mann.

Mann says the pieces in his head clicked. He knew the detectives who worked his case, Roger Golubski and Terry Zeigler.

KCTV5 reviewed file video from the night of the murder. Both detectives are on scene. Golubski in a tan sports coat, Zeigler wore black.

A full witness statement from Loren Artis includes the detectives’ names.

Ahmon Mann points to that statement as proof that the case against him was a mess from the beginning.

Here’s how eyewitness Loren Artis describes the car when questioned by police.

Q: what color do you remember it being

A: it was either green or red.

A few pages later Artis is questioned about what happened after the shooting.

A: And by then after they ran, after I seen them ran. I started running myself.

The story changes depending on the detectives’ questions. Maybe Artis doesn’t run- maybe he investigates the dead body.

Q: okay did you go up to the car to look in the car before you took off?

A: yes sir.

Any prisoner claiming innocence will tell you convictions happen fast but overturning a murder charge is an uphill battle. Ahmon Mann got that letter from Artis back in 2011.

He thought maybe people would start believing him when the same detective came under fire in the Lamonte McIntyre case.

Lamonte McIntyre case

McIntyre was wrongfully convicted in a double murder where he didn’t even know the victims.

He spent decades in prison based on eyewitness testimony where the woman later claimed she was pressured by Golubski and the prosecutor.

Mann says it sounded familiar.

“It wasn’t like it was a little different. It was same thing! Witnesses being told to say things. I was really hoping that it would affect me,” Mann said.

McIntyre’s attorneys laid out accusations that Golubski fixed the case on McIntyre based on revenge.

Mann says he has an idea why Golubski might hate him. He admits he was dealing drugs near Golubski’s daughter’s house.

“Probably because we were selling drugs out of the house, you know, his grandkids was there, whatever. Only thing I can really think of,” said Mann.

Allegations pile up against Golubski - Ahmon Mann just watches

KCTV5 continues to investigate terrible allegations against Roger Golubski. He’s been retired for years and declines to speak to KCTV5 about accusations which range from sexual assault, to families questioning if Golubski played a role in the deaths or coverups of their loved ones.

The FBI is looking into the death of Rhonda Tribue. She was beaten to death and run over by a car. The family tells KCTV5 Golubski is a target of the investigation.

“She did have DNA under her nails. She did fight back. Whoever it was, she did fight back. She didn’t just die, she fought for her life,” her daughter, Jelica Tribue, said.

Eric Calvin questions Golubski’s role in his sister’s death and investigation, but questions if anyone really wants the truth.

“I think it’s a nightmare. I think they know if they dig up all the things they did wrong, you will find he wasn’t the only corrupt detective or corrupt law enforcement. They don’t want to dig up everything. They don’t want it to be uncovered. It’s not only him, there are other people who don’t want it to be uncovered,” Eric Calvin said.

Eric’s brother is in prison for a murder he swears he had nothing to do with. The real killer agrees and even admitted the wrong person is in prison on camera to KCTV5.

Community organizers rally and call for a Department of Justice Investigation into Golubski and the KCK Police department.

Wyandotte Conviction Integrity Unit - a chance for hope

Ahmon Mann says his case was recently in the hands of the Wyandotte County Conviction Integrity Unit- later named the Community Integrity Unit.

The unit was supposed to clean up corruption and take another look at old cases where prisoners say there is new information which should be reviewed.

He says he was hopeful that if an outside source looked at all the pieces in case, he would be freed.

Mann says he was crushed to learn every member of that unit was recently fired.

Secretly recorded audio revealed troubling conversations where two team members joked about genocide and made troubling racial comments.

When we asked Mann what he thinks about the justice system he simply responded, “I think it sucks. I really hate it. I really hate it.”