Lamonte McIntyre clears legal hurdle in lawsuit accusing Kansas City, Kansas, cop of framing him
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil rejected arguments by former Kansas City, Kansas, detective Roger Golubski to decide a civil rights case against him in his favor. Vratil said claims brought by Lamonte McIntyre should be decided by a jury.
A federal judge last week rejected a former Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department detective’s attempt to have a major civil rights lawsuit against him thrown out.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil turned away arguments made by Roger Golubski, who asked that the judge resolve the case in his favor and take it out of the hands of a jury.
Golubski stands accused of a wide range of misconduct, not only during his investigation of a 1994 double homicide in Wyandotte County that led to the wrongful conviction of Lamonte McIntyre, but throughout his decades-long career with the KCKPD.
A Wyandotte County jury convicted McIntyre following a sloppy and coercive police investigation. He served 23 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2017.
In a civil suit naming Golubski, other KCKPD officers and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, McIntyre alleges Golubski framed him for the slayings because his mother, Rose McIntyre, spurned Golubski’s advances after he allegedly sexually assaulted her years before the killings.
Vratil’s ruling Thursday echoed statements she made during a May hearing suggesting she would let a jury sort out the various claims made by both McIntyres. Her denial of all but one claim in Golubski’s summary judgment motion means that a trial scheduled for later this year — one that Vratil said at the hearing could have significant financial repercussions for the Unified Government — is likely to take place unless the parties reach a settlement.
That the trial could inflict financial damage on the Unified Government is a belief apparently shared by the Unified Government itself. It recently warned prospective buyers of its municipal bonds that a settlement or a verdict in the case could have a “material adverse effect” on the government’s finances and operations.
Golubski argued that he and other officers had probable cause to arrest McIntyre for the slayings of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn because they relied in part on statements from two witnesses — both of whose accounts of the shooting ended up changing over time.
McIntyre argues there’s evidence that Golubski knew one witness could not have seen the shooter’s face and gave a description of the suspect that did not match that of McIntyre. Vratil agreed that could lead a jury to conclude Golubski falsified parts of the case against McIntyre.
Vratil also rejected Golubski’s argument that he did not cause McIntyre’s conviction because evidence in the case suggested then-Wyandotte County prosecutor Terra Morehead — now a federal prosecutor in Kansas — coerced a witness into identifying McIntyre as the shooter at the 1994 trial.
“Even so, plaintiff has presented evidence that Golubski never revealed his misconduct to Morehead and that his misconduct tainted the in-court identifications” by the witnesses, Vratil wrote.
Golubski also argued that McIntyre can’t show the detective fabricated evidence in the homicide investigation against McIntyre. But Vratil said a reasonable jury could examine evidence that points to Golubski coercing witnesses to create a narrative implicating McIntyre as the shooter.
“The Court cannot come close to conclusively resolving this issue in Golubski’s favor, or find that McIntyre’s case is devoid of evidence which supports his claim that Golubski knowingly fabricated false evidence against McIntyre,” Vratil wrote.
Vratil did dismiss a relatively minor claim made by McIntyre — that he was deprived of “familial association” by his conviction — but the bulk of the case against Golubski remains intact following Vratil’s ruling.
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