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Former Leavenworth Police Officer Charged In Shooting Death Of Kansas Man In 2017

Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office

A former Leavenworth, Kansas, police officer has been indicted in the fatal shooting of a man last year, the county prosecutor announced on Monday.

Matthew Harrington, 25, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 47-year-old Antonio Garcia, Jr.. Harrington shot Garcia last year while responding to a domestic dispute call. Harrington was fired in January for violating the police department’s use of deadly force policy. 

The Associated Press reports that Harrington had been dispatched to Garcia’s home after an argument between family members. According to a news release, Garcia had left the home before Harrington arrived, but returned and encountered the officer. Garcia was allegedly trying to drive away when Harrington shot and killed him.

Ken Barnes is an attorney representing Garcia’s family. He says they’re relieved a grand jury saw enough evidence to charge Harrington.

“We do believe that in taking someone’s life in this way, in a needless way, that the charges could’ve been more severe but we’re happy that some justice is being done,” Barnes says.

Garcia’s family sued the city in July for a copy of the police camera footage of the killing. Barnes says Garcia’s wife has been allowed to view the footage at the police station, but that the family has not been provided a copy of the video.

If convicted of the manslaughter charge, Harrington faces a sentence ranging between two years and seven months to more than 11 years, although Leavenworth county attorney Todd Thompson says Harrington could make a case for a lesser punishment.

A second hearing has been scheduled in September.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig. 

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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