Attorneys for 2 men claiming innocence say prosecutor is withholding information

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 5:28 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Attorneys for Brian Betts and Celester McKinney are crying “foul!” They claim the Wyandotte County District Attorney is not sharing important information — information that could help their case.

Betts and McKinney, who are cousins, were convicted in separate trials and are serving life sentences in connection with the death of Greg Miller. Miller was shot 18 times in his Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood in the early morning hours in December of 1997.

Kansas state law does not require the prosecutor share the entire investigative file, even though the attorneys for the convicted men are trying to argue that disgraced KCK detective Roger Golubski had influence over the investigation.

Golubski was related by marriage to the murder victim.

Golubski is facing federal charges connected to rape and kidnapping, but he’s also accused of fixing murder cases out of revenge. In testimony on Monday, Golubski denied any involvement with the case.

He was, however, an investigator in a case involving Lamonte McIntyre. McIntyre’s conviction was thrown out five years ago and he was exonerated. The director of the Midwest Innocence Project, Tricia Rojo Bushnell, credits access to investigative files — not only in McIntyre’s case, but also in the cases of Floyd Bledsoe, Richard Jones, and Pete Coones. All are innocent men who proved their convictions were wrong.

“We had access to the investigative files,” said Bushnell. “We needed that information to do the investigation that led to proving their innocence.”

Now, the legal team and advocates for the cousins question why the same level of transparency isn’t happening for these men.

When asked if she had found a connection between Golubski and this case, McKinney’s attorney Sarah Swain replied, “I’m slowly trying to piece that together.”

However, she and others wonder if some of those pieces could be inside the original case file. They told the judge they’re being handcuffed by a lack of information.

Wyandotte County Prosecutor Mark Dupree was called to testify in court today. He told the court that his assistant district attorney has shared all required information.

This “information war” would not exist in other states. In Missouri and Arkansas, for example, getting the entire file would either be automatic or a simple request.

Bushnell questions how it is that Wyandotte County has a Conviction Integrity Unit, yet refused to release the entire file.

“What we’ve seen in court today is an office that is saying, ‘We don’t want you to see it, you can’t have it. That conviction, we believe, is good but we won’t tell you or show you why. And, you have no access to anything that will allow you to prove your innocence,’” said Bushnell. “That is an impossible burden and it’s frankly not the practice that we’re used to today.”

Previous coverage:

Disgraced former KCK detective Roger Golubski denies involvement in murder investigation that sent 2 men to prison

Court will consider former KCK detective Roger Golubski’s involvement in murder convictions of two men

2 imprisoned men swear they’re innocent, blame former KCK detective Roger Golubski for convictions

More on KCTV5.com regarding Roger Golubski