Man convicted of killing Clinton police officer sentenced to life without parole

Ian McCarthy was convicted of murder in the death of former Clinton police officer Gary Michael.
Ian McCarthy was convicted of murder in the death of former Clinton police officer Gary Michael.(KCTV5)
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 1:54 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The man who shot and killed a Clinton police officer in August 2017 will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A judge sentenced Ian McCarthy, 45, to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael.

Michael’s death occurred while he attempted to conduct a routine traffic stop near the Henry County Library in Clinton, Missouri, on Aug. 6, 2017. Before he was shot to death, Michael described the SUV and license plate of the vehicle he pulled over, which belonged to McCarthy.

The SUV was found crashed into an embankment and abandoned later. McCarthy’s cell phone, which forensic evidence and witness testimony confirmed belonged to him, was found near the totaled vehicle. Neighbors in the area reported seeing a man run from the vehicle and surveillance footage from a convenience store confirmed McCarthy as the driver of the SUV.

When other officers arrived on the scene, they attempted to perform life-saving treatment and call for help, but a gunshot wound to the chest led to his death. After a nearly two-day manhunt, McCarthy was taken into custody.

McCarthy was found guilty of first-degree murder during a trial in June. He was also charged with armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm, but the state chose not to proceed on those charges during the trial. The charges, however, were not dismissed.

A jury failed to reach an agreement on his sentencing, and so the decision was made by a Jackson County judge. McCarthy’s attorneys filed a motion last week asking a Jackson County judge to declare the state law unconstitutional and to sentence McCarthy to life in prison.