WICHITA COUNTY, KANSAS

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Carl  A.  Simons 
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LEOTI  CHIEF  SHOT,  KILLED

LEOTI --- Carl Simon, police chief at Leoti for the past three months, was shot and killed late Tuesday night while trying to stop a vehicle.

Details of the shooting were sketchy, but reports to The News indicated that the police chief was shot after his car was forced into a roadside ditch.  The shooting took place about 1-1/2 miles north of the community on K-25.

Officials from the Kansas Highway Patrol office at Garden City, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Wichita County Sheriff's office were searching for a suspect in the homicide, but no arrests had been made by press time.

Roadblocks had been set up in the county and local law enforcement officers were placed on emergency alert.

Simon was shot at close range with a .38 caliber revolver, according to a highway patrol spokesman.  A rural Wichita County resident, Joe Wiggins, who was at the homicide scene, said he thought the police chief was shot with a shotgun.

According to Leoti Mayor Irvin Wilken, Simon was both the local police chief and a deputy in the county sheriff's department.  He is in his 40s.

KBI  MAN  THERE

Bob Clester, KBI supervisor at Great Bend, said a KBI agent was at the scene of the shooting within an hour of Simon's death.  The agent working the case is Lanny Grossland, of the KBI's Garden City office.

Clester believed that Simon died at the scene before medical help arrived to take him to the Wichita County Hospital.

The investigation into the shooting was being made by officials from the KBI, the sheriff's office, the highway patrol and police from communities surrounding Leoti.
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ May 26, 1976 ~ Page 1)


POLICEMAN  SLAYING  SUSPECT  NABBED

LEOTI --- Leoti was in mourning, its residents in a state of shock and a suspect was in custody Wednesday after the Tuesday night shooting death of the town's police chief, Carl Simons.

Simons was shot and killed about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday 1-1/2 miles north of the Wichita County community of about 2,400.  His body was found by his wife, Norma Jean, near his patrol car, along K-25.  The 42-year-old Simons, who had been the community's one-man police force for the past three months, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"His wife had received a telephone call that needed his attention, so she was out looking for him," Wichita County Attorney Claude Heath, Leoti, said.

Sheriff Lloyd Meyer said to the best of his knowledge "it was the only one" --- the only killing of a policeman in the line of duty in the history of Leoti.

SUSPECT  ARRESTED

A suspect in the homicide, Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, was arrested near Eads, Colo., about three hours after the incident.  He has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the case.

Kiowa County (Colo.) Sheriff Larry Watts said McCowan, who was alone in his car when arrested, was wearing handcuffs at the time, but the chain between the brackets of the handcuffs had been broken.  Law enforcement officials are speculating that Simons had placed the man under arrest before the shooting took place.

A .357 magnum revolver was found in McCowan's car.  It was believed to be Simons' service revolver.

"We were notified by the sheriff at Leoti (Meyer) that there was a possibility that the suspect in the homicide might be coming in the direction of Colorado," Watts said.

'NO  TIME'

"There was no time for us to set up roadblocks, so we headed east, hoping to intercept the suspect."

Watts said a license number and description of the suspect's car was provided to the Kiowa County Sheriff's office and the Colorado Sheriff's office and the Colorado State Patrol by Kansas authorities.

McCowan's vehicle was first sighted about 20 miles east of Eads, which is about 80 miles due west of Leoti, heading west on Highway 96 in Colorado.  The Colorado authorities followed the vehicle for about 20 minutes and the arrest was made about a quarter mile outside the eastern edge of Eads.  The arrest was made about 12:45 a.m. Hutchinson time.

"There was no resistance.  He didn't have much of an opportunity to," the Kiowa County sheriff said.

EXTRADITION

Lanny Grossland, a KBI agent from Garden City, and another agent were sent to Eads Wednesday to return the suspect to Kansas.  McCowan was waived extradition.  The agents and the suspect were expected to return to the Leoti area by Wednesday night. 

According to Heath, McCowan is expected to be confined at the Scott County Jail, Scott City, "if everyone's agreeable to the security arrangements there."  The jail at Leoti was one of those closed last year by the Kansas Department of Corrections office since it did not meet the state's qualifications.

"I'm sure that he'll be arraigned tomorrow (Thursday)," the county attorney added.

AUTOPSY  MADE

Simons' body was taken Wednesday to Dodge City for an autopsy, a KBI agent said, adding that the case still is under investigation by his office and officials from the Wichita County Sheriff's office and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Grossland said Simons apparently was shot with a large caliber pistol, but said ballistics tests would have to be made to determine whether he was shot with his own service revolver or another gun.

The incident apparently began when Simons stopped a man, believed to be McCowan, in a car Tuesday night for a parole violation.  An order had been issued earlier in the week for McCowan's arrest because he had failed to meet with his parole officer.

Heath said the suspect had been out of prison on parole from a conviction of possessing a weapon after a previous felony conviction.  McCowan worked as a laborer for a local farmer, Kenneth Hooker.

GARNETT  NATIVE

Born at Garnett, Simons came to Leoti in April of last year from Albuquerque, N.M., where he was an insurance adjuster.  He served as Wichita County undersheriff from April to August, 1975.  His prior employment included law enforcement work at Overland Park and in Osage County.

Simons was named the Leoti police chief near the end of February of this year.  He was the father of two children:  Carlisa, 18, and Karlene, 16, both of the home in Leoti.

His funeral service is scheduled 2 p.m. Saturday at the Leoti Baptist Church.  Burial will be in the Leoti Cemetery.

A fund drive to help the Simons family has been established at the First State Bank, Leoti,
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ May 27, 1976)


ACCUSED  TO  COURT  TODAY

LEOTI, Kan. --- A parole violator has been returned from Colorado for arraignment today on first degree murder charges in the shooting of Police Chief Carl Simons, 42, Leoti.

Richard McCowan, 31, still was wearing handcuffs when arrested near Eads, Colo., about 85 miles west of Leoti, Tuesday night.  A Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent said the chain holding the cuffs together had been broken.

Wichita County Attorney Claude Heath filed the murder charge.  He said McCowan had pleaded guilty last fall to possessing a weapon after a previous felony conviction.  He was sentenced to a penitentiary at Lansing and paroled last April.

A warrant had been issued for McCowan for parole violation for failure to report to his parole officer.

The police chief stopped a car driven by a suspect Tuesday night on Kansas 25 north of Leoti.  Simons was shot twice with a pistol and left in a roadside ditch.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ May 27, 1976)

LEOTI --- Carl A. Simons, 42, who was the Leoti chief of police for the past three months, died Tuesday after he was shot in the line of duty.

He was born Aug. 6, 1933, at Garnett and married Norma Jean Williamson June 21, 1953 at Garnett.  He and his family moved to Leoti from Albuquerque, N. M. in April, 1975.  He served as the Wichita County undersheriff for five months before assuming his duties as police chief and was a member of the Christian Church, Kansas Peace Officers Association and the Kansas Chiefs of Police Association.

Survivors include the widow; daughters: Carlisa and Karlene, both of the home; mother: Mrs. Bertha Simons, Garnett; and sister: Mrs. James Backwith, Parsons.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Baptist Church, Leoti, Rev. Roland Teubner.  Burial will be in the Leoti Cemetery.  Friends may call until service time at the Weinmann-Price Funeral Home, Leoti.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ May 27, 1976 ~ Page 12)


ACCUSED  SLAYER  OF  POLICEMAN  ARRAIGNED

LEOTI --- Richard McCowan, the 31-year-old suspect in the shooting death of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, 42, was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Wichita County Court at Leoti.

He was charged with first degree murder in connection with Simons' death.  The body of the police chief was found Tuesday night by his wife, Norman Jean, in a roadside ditch along K-25, north of the community.  Simons had been shot twice.

County Judge John E. Ley set bond at $100,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for June 3 in county court.  The suspect was returned to the Scott County Jail, Scott City, for confinement.

A court-appointed attorney also was appointed by Ley to defend McCowan.

The suspect was arrested early Wednesday morning near Eads, Colo. by Colorado authorities.  McCowan waived extradition and was returned to Kansas late Wednesday night by two Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ May 28, 1976)
 


A  GOOD  COP  WAS  BURIED  SATURDAY  IN  LEOTI

LEOTI --- The world seemed to stand still in this farm community of 2,300 Saturday as nearly 300 townspeople turned out for the funeral and burial of Carl A. Simons.

But no one had forgotten Simons, the former police chief here, and many were still reflecting about the kind of man he had been.

Simons was shot and killed Tuesday night after he had stopped a vehicle about 1-1/2 miles north of here on K-25.  The 42-year-old policeman was found at the scene of the shooting by his wife, Norma Jean.  Richard M. McCowan, 31, of Leoti, has been charged with the murder and his bond has been set at $100,000.

"People are just down," Claude Heath, Wichita County Attorney commented about the attitude of the community.  "People who knew him well, liked him.  He used discretion in his responsibilities and he used diplomacy.  He wasn't overbearing, but he did his job well."

Rev. Rowland Teubner, who officiated at the funeral and burial services, said Simons spent much time with the community's young people.

"Many fathers of young boys have stopped me the last few days and have told me how much he worked with their sons and how he tried to make those boys understand the law," Teubner said.

Teubner said he did not have a theme for the services, but that he hoped he could help people understand what had happened.

"People are bitter," he said, "and I don't condone that, but I suppose that the most important thing to understand is that when we transgress the laws of God, they break us, we don't break them."

O. B. Rutherford, sheriff of Greeley County, said there was a big delegation of area policemen, sheriffs and highway patrolmen at the services.

"There were even highway patrolmen there from Colorado," he said.  "People had trouble finding places to park at the cemetery and there were three and four people in most every car."

Rutherford characterized Simons as a dedicated officer.  We always got along with him fine and had a good working relationship with him.  He was a good officer."

Simons was a "jovial man" one of his friends said.

:"He didn't act like he had a care in the world," R. B. Stewart, a city councilman said.  "He was a quiet man, but he saw the light side of life.  He just did his duty.  He didn't throw his weight around."

Loyd Farr, a garage owner, remembered Simons' interest in racing.

"He loved racing and before he got into law enforcement, he did some racing," Farr said.  "I'm also a racer so we'd get together and talk and he was always real up to date about racing."

Simons enjoyed talking to truckers on his CB radio, Farr said.

"He was a good friend of the truckers," Farr said.  "They knew him as 'Peoyte' and liked him because he was always ready to talk to them, wake them up, or help them stay alert."

Mrs. Rosemary Sheets said the community was still shocked by the shooting.

"This is the kind of thing you read about in the paper," she said, "but none of us ever thought it would happen here."

A memorial fund for Simons' wife and two children has been started at the First State Bank here.  Bob Brandes, bank vice president, said that about $1,200 had been deposited in the account.

"This whole thing has really hit the community hard," Brandes said, "and I think that before this is over, we'll collect more than the $1,200 for the family."

And so, for the first time in its 89-year history, Leoti paid its final respects to a police chief who died in the line of duty.

Carl Simons was gone Saturday, but not forgotten.
(Hutchinson News ~ Sunday ~ May 30, 1976 ~ Page 1)


LEOTI, Kan. --- A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday for Richard McCowan, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Police Chief Carl Simons, 42.

McCowan, 31, a farm laborer, was arrested in Colorado one day after the May 26 shooting.  He waived extradition.  He is represented by court-appointed attorney J. D. Muench of Scott City, Wichita County.  Judge John Ley will preside at the initial hearing.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ June 3, 1976 ~ Page 6)


HEARING  DELAY

LEOTI --- The preliminary hearing of Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, charged with the murder of Leoti Police Chief Carl A. Simons, 42, was postponed indefinitely because of illness of one of the attorneys.

The hearing was scheduled Thursday, but Wichita County Atty. Claude Heath said McCowan's attorney, J. D. Muench, Scott City, became ill.  Heath said the hearing was postponed indefinitely.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ June 4, 1976 ~ Page 13)


DETAILS  OF  POLICE  SHOOTING  REVEALED

LEOTI --- Details of the shooting of Leoti police chief Carl Simons were disclosed for the first time Tuesday at the preliminary hearing for his accused slayer, Richard McCowan.

McCowan's statement following his arrest in Eads, Colo., was read in court by Lanny Grossland, special agent for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

McCowan, 31, is charged with first degree murder in the shooting of Simons, who stopped McCowan a mile north of Leoti on May 25 to serve a warrant for parole violation.  Simon's body was discovered in a weed-filled ditch across the highway from his patrol car.  McCowan was apprehended a few hours later near Eads.

In the statement made to Grossland, McCowan said he had just returned to Leoti from California where he had picked up his daughter, and was en route to telephone his parole officer to explain why he had not met with him the week before.  Simons stopped McCowan a mile north of Leoti, drew his weapon, and ordered him out of the car, McCowan said.

McCowan said he protested that a drawn weapon was not necessary and that Simons proceeded to cock his service revolver and put the gun in McCowan's back.  At one time, McCowan's statement said, the officer struck him on the shoulder with what he believed to be the service revolver.

Simons then handcuffed McCowan, the statement read, and began talking to someone on the patrol car's mobile telephone.  At this point, McCowan said, he went to his car to quiet his children, and took a gun he had there back to the patrol car.  He said he aimed the gun at Simons and ordered him to unlock the handcuffs so that he, McCowan, could have his hands free to telephone his parole officer.

A scuffle ensued, and Simons fell or was knocked to the ground.  "I guess I shot him after he fell...things were kind of hazy...I didn't mean to shoot him," McCowan said in his statement.

The statement made to KBI agents Grossland and Duane Bell was entered as evidence.

McCowan was bound over to district court for trial after the hearing before Wichita County Judge John E. Ley.  McCowan will appear in district court here July 19 and a trial date will be set by District Judge Bert Vance.

Also testifying was Dr. David L. Pfannenstiel, Leoti physician and Wichita County coroner.  He said cause of Simons' death was a gunshot wound to the right upper chest.  He said Simons also had a wound to the left forearm.

McCowan will not be required to enter a plea until his district court appearance.  Purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine a crime has been committed and that there is probable cause to hold the defendant for trial.

McCowan was returned to Scott County jail where he is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ June 24, 1976 ~ Page 1)


McCOWAN  ARRAIGNED

LEOTI --- Richard M. McCowan, 31, of Leoti, was arraigned Monday in Wichita County District Court and charged with first-degree murder in the May 25 shooting death of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, 42.

He entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Bert Vance.

Bond for the suspect was continued at $100,000.  McCowan was reconfined to the Scott County Jail, Scott City, after his arrangement.

J. D. Muench, Scott City, who is the court-appointed attorney for McCowan, requested for a continuance in the case so that he could prepare for defense motions in the case.  The motions will be argued Aug. 18 in district court.

Wichita County Atty. Claude Heath is in charge of prosecution.

A trial date has not been scheduled, pending the outcome of the motion hearing.

The murder charge stems from the shooting death of Simons, whose body was found in a roadside ditch north of the community.  He had been shot twice, once in his chest and once in his left forearm.  Simons was pronounced dead at the scene.

McCowan was apprehended by Colorado officers May 26 near Eads, Colo.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ July 20, 1976 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN  TO  APPEAR  AT  HEARING

LEOTI --- A hearing is set Wednesday on a change of venue motion for Richard M. McCowan, 31, who is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Carl Simons, the former police chief of Leoti.

The motion was made by J. D. Muench, Scott City, who is McCowan's court-appointed attorney.  The hearing will being about 11 a.m. in Wichita County Court with Judge Bert J. Vance presiding.

McCowan was charged July 19 with the murder of Simons, whose body was found May 25 in a roadside ditch north of the community.  He had been shot twice and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The suspect was arrested May 26 near Eads, Colo.

County Attorney Clause Heath, Leoti, is in charge of the prosecution.

Bond for McCowan has been set at $100,000.  He remains in custody at the Scott County jail in lieu of bond.
(Hutchinson News ~ Sunday ~ August 15, 1976 ~ Page 2)


MURDER  TRIAL  MOTIONS

LEOTI --- Defense motions, including a possible change of venue request, are expected to be filed by Friday in the murder trial of Richard M. McCowan.

A motion hearing was conducted Monday in Wichita County Court with Judge Bert Vance presiding.  He gave J. D. Muench, Scott City, who is McCowan's court-appointed attorney, until Friday to file his motions in the case.  Arguments on the defense motions will be heard Sept. 22 in county court.

County Attorney Claude Heath, Leoti, will handle the prosecution in the case.

McCowan, 31, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the May 25 shooting death of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, whose body was found in a roadside ditch north of the community.  The suspect was arrested May 26 by Colorado law enforcement officials near Eads, Colo.

He remains confined in the Scott County Jail, Scott City, in lieu of $100,000 bond.
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ September 1, 1976 ~ Page 1)


McCOWAN  GETS  VENUE  CHANGE

LEOTI --- Richard McCowan, charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons May 25, has been granted a change of venue.

A certified change of venue order will be forwarded to a Departmental Justice and a new location for McCowan's trial will be set at a future date.

Judge Bert J. Vance granted the motion filed by McCowan's defense attorney J. D. Muench in Wichita County District Court Wednesday.  Wichita County Attorney Claude S. Heath concurred with the ruling citing "sufficient evidence" on defense counsel's part that a change of location was justified.

Judge Vance also granted an additional motion that McCowan undergo a psychiatric examination at Larned State Hospital.  The results of the examination are to be forwarded to the court within 60 days.

Defense motions to dismiss the case, release McCowan on his own recognizance or lower his bond of $100,000 were all denied by the court.

The court also overruled a defense motion "to suppress all oral or tangible evidence that came from the defendant" on the grounds "that he (McCowan) was deprived of his rights" after Heath called five law enforcement officials to refute Muench's allegations.

Heath agreed to give McCowan's attorney a "bill of particulars" - a detailed statement of the alleged crime, which include evidence and charges against McCowan.

The shooting of Police Chief Simons occurred a short distance north of Leoti last May.  His body was found in a ditch across from his patrol car parked on highway K-25.  A short time later McCowan was arrested near Eads, Colorado.
(Hutchinson News ~ Saturday ~ September 25, 1976 ~ Page 5)


TRIAL  MOVED  TO  SALINA

LEOTI --- The trial of Richard McCowan, a 31-year-old suspect in the shooting death of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, 42, is scheduled to begin Jan. 3 in Saline County District Court at Salina.

The designation of the trial site and date was announced Wednesday by the Kansas Supreme Court in a request for a charge of venue motion approved in September by Wichita County District Court, Leoti.

McCowan has been confined to the Scott County Jail at Scott City since his arrest May 26 near Eads, Colo., the morning following the shooting of Simons.  His bond was set at $100,000.

Wichita County Attorney Claude Heath, Leoti, said Wednesday that McCowan will probably remain at Scott City and won't be moved to Salina until the time for his trial nears.

Heath, who did not seek re-election as county attorney Nov. 2, will prosecute the case.

The body of Simons, who had been the town's police chief for about three months, was found the night of May 25 in a roadside ditch alone K-25 north of Leoti.  he had been shot twice and was pronounced dead at the scene.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ November 11, 1976 ~ Page 1)


McCOWAN  TO  STAND  TRIAL

LEOTI, Kan. --- Richard McCowan today was found competent to be tried on a first-degree murder charge for the May 25 shooting of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons.

District Judge Bert Vance reviewed psychiatric reports from Larned State Hospital on the 31-year-old farm laborer before ordering him to be tried.

The trial is scheduled to be Jan. 3 in Saline County District Court at Salina.  A change of venue was granted in September.

Simons was found on a road north of Leoti May 25.  He had been shot twice.  McCowan was arrested the next morning about 100 miles west of the town in Colorado.  He waived an extradition hearing and was returned to Kansas.

McCowan is being held in the county jail at Scott City in lieu of $100,000 bond.
(Hutchinson News ~ Monday ~ December 13, 1976 ~ Page 3)

McCOWAN  TRIAL  IS  NEXT  MONTH

LEOTI, Kan. --- Richard McCowan Monday was ordered to stand trial next month on a first-degree murder charge for the May 25 shooting of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons.

District Judge Bert Vance reviewed psychiatric reports from Larned State Hospital on the 31-year-old farm laborer and found him competent for the trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 3 in Saline County District Court at Salina.  A change of venue was granted in September.

Simons was found on a road north of Leoti May 25.  He had been shot twice.  McCowan was arrested the next morning about 100 miles west of the town in Colorado.  He waived an extradition hearing and as returned to Kansas.

McCowan is being held at the county jail in Scott City in lieu of $100,000 bond.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ December 14, 1976 ~ Page 7)


PLAQUE  HONORS  EX-POLICE  CHIEF

LEOTI --- A plaque has been added to the Wichita County Courthouse in memory of former Police Chief Carl Simons, 42, who was killed in the line of duty May 25.

Mel McKellips, a member of the police force, made the memorial plaque.  It is located on the north wall near the east entrance of the courthouse.  After awhile, the plaque will be moved to the City Hall building.

A suspect in the murder of the police chief, Richard McCowan, is scheduled to go to trial next month at Salina in connection with Simons death.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ December 16, 1976 ~ Page 19)


JURORS  PICKED  FOR  McCOWAN  MURDER  TRIAL

SALINA -- A panel of nearly 90 prospective jurors reported Monday to Saline county district court to the murder trial of Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, being heard here on a change of venue from Wichita County.

By noon the jury selection was half completed with one group of 14 jurors having been approved and another group of 14 midway through the approval process.

A panel of 42 jurors must be approved by both the prosecution and the defense.  Wichita County Attorney Claude S. Heath, Leoti, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Adrian M. Farber, who has been appointed a special prosecutor and who handled the jury examination.  J. D. Muench, Scott City, is McCowan's court-appointed defense attorney.  After the jury panel is approved, each side will strike off 15 members, leaving the dozen who will decide the case.
(Hutchinson News ~ Monday ~ January 3, 1977 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN  JURY  PICKED

SALINA --- A jury of five men and seven women, plus a man and woman as alternates, was selected Monday afternoon in district court to hear the first-degree murder trial of Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti.

McCowan is accused of the May 25 slaying of Carl A. Simons, Leoti's one-man police department, when Simons attempted to arrest McCowan for an alleged parole violation.

The case was transferred from Wichita county to Saline county on a charge of venue order.

After the jury was empaneled, the prosecution began its opening statement.  One of the two prosecutors, Adrian M. Farber, Burlingame, outlined the case against McCowan, including the events which led to the shooting death of Simons.

Sharing the prosecutor's role with Farber, a former attorney general candidate appointed as a special prosecutor, is Wichita County Attorney Claude S. Heath, Leoti, J. D. Muench, Scott City, is McCowan's court-appointed defense attorney.

Judge Bert J. Vance, Garden City, whose 25th Judicial District includes Wichita County of which Leoti is the county seat, is presiding.  He told the prospective jurors at the outset that the trial was expected to last a week.

McCowan, Farber said, had been convicted a year ago on a charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm, and had been placed on probation last April.  On May 19 he failed to keep an appointment with his probation officer (he had made a trip to California) and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Simons received the statement teletype bulletin calling for McCowan's arrest and followed McCowan north out of Leoti on K-96 the evening of May 25, stopping McCowan's car about a mile north of town.  McCowan, Farber said, was with his 12-year-old daughter and 3 younger children.

Simons arrested McCowan and handcuffed his hands behind his back.  The officer then went to his patrol car to request assistance and while so occupied McCowan returned to his own car.

Farber said McCowan had his daughter give him a .357 magnum revolver he had in the car, and then returned to the patrol car and shot Simons twice in the chest.  The weapon, Farber said, had been purchased the day before in Garden City.

An attempt to unlock the handcuffs with Simons' key apparently failed when the key broke in the lock, so McCowan then had his daughter drive his car to a farm where he used a grinder in a shed to file open a link in the handcuff chains, Farber told the jurors.

After that, McCowan took the children to a friend's house, where he had left another car.  He left the children and the first car there and fled for Colorado in the other car.  He was arrested in Eads, Colo., by Colorado highway patrol and the Kiowa County, Colo., sheriff.  He was still wearing the handcuff bracelets, Farber said.

After court adjourned, Muench told reporters he had not yet decided whether to give his opening statement Tuesday morning or wait until he began the defense case.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ January 4, 1977 ~ Page 3)


SAYS  HE  DISLIKED  SIMONS

SALINA --- A former co-employer of Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, said Tuesday in Saline county district court that McCowan had a "pretty intense...almost violent dislike" of former Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, who McCowan is accused of murdering May 25.

The statement was made by Mrs. Eleanor Hooker, who farms with her husband near Leoti.  The couple hired McCowan to help out with farm work after McCowan was granted a parole April 12 from a 5-year-term in the state penitentiary at Lansing.  He had been sentenced in October of 1975 after pleading guilty to a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

McCowan's alleged dislike of Simons came out during conversations between McCowan and Mr. and Mrs. Hooker, she testified.

Mrs. Hooker's husband, Kenneth, agreed with his wife's comments when he later testified.

Twelve witnesses testified Tuesday, the 2nd day of the trial.  The case was transferred from Wichita county to Saline county on a change of venue order.

McCowan is accused of shooting Simons when the officer stopped McCowan's car for an alleged parole violation.

The defense attorney for McCowan told the court the defense will attempt to prove the death was accidental.

"I think we will be able to prove this was not a malicious shooting.  It was an accident," defense attorney J. D. Muench said in a 5-minute opening statement.

Muench said McCowan was "unlawfully stopped" and "handcuffed and beaten by the chief of police (Simons)".  He admitted McCowan left the scene of the shooting and added, "he was in fear of his life."
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ January 5, 1977 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN  GUILTY

SALINA --- Richard M. McCowan was found guilty here Thursday of the May 25 murder of Leoti Police Chief Carl A. Simons.

A Saline county district court jury, which heard the trial on change of venue from Wichita county, deliberated only 50 minutes before returning its verdict shortly after noon.

The trial began Monday, reaching a dramatic climax Wednesday afternoon with testimony by McCowan and his daughter as to events on the day Simons pulled McCowan's car over and the two --- McCowan in handcuffs --- scuffled over a high-powered pistol McCowan's daughter had given him from the glove compartment.

McCowan was arrested in Colorado the next day, after Simons' wife found the officer's body in a ditch north of Leoti.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ January 6, 1977 ~ Page 2)


McCOWAN  IS  FOUND  GUILTY

SALINA --- A district court jury took but 50 minutes Thursday to digest three days of testimony and to find Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, guilty of the first-degree murder of Leoti Police Chief Carl A. Simons.

McCowan testified in his own defense Wednesday afternoon, breaking into tears as he told of the shooting episode on a lonely K-25 highway a mile north of Leoti last May 25.

After the verdict was read, Wichita County District Judge Bert J. Vance, Garden City, said post-trial motions and possible sentencing would tentatively be scheduled for Feb. 28.  However, he expected to set an earlier date after receiving the defense's motion for a new trial.

Thursday morning the prosecution declined to cross-examine the defendant.  Special Prosecutor Adrian M. Farver said later, "The defendant admitted to escaping and to all the elements of the crime, which were all supported by other evidence presented by the state."

In his closing argument, Farver emphasized the element of Kansas' "felony murder rule," which states that a killing done during the commission of another felony offense is a first-degree murder.  For this reason, the jury was given no instructions permitting a verdict other than guilty or innocent of the crime as charged.

Farver, terming the defendant a "three-time loser" because of prior convictions, told the jury the felony he committed was "escaping from lawful custody by the use of violence."

Defense attorney J. D. Muench, Scott City, disputed in his argument the notion that McCowan had anything to escape from, but twice was brought up short by objections from Farver.  The jury's instructions included one stating that McCowan's arrest by Simons in response to an alleged parole violation was lawful.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ January 7, 1977 ~ Page 1)


McCOWAN  TO  APPEAL  MURDER  CONVICTION

LEOTI --- Richard M. McCowan, 31, Leoti, convicted Jan. 6 of the first-degree murder of Leoti Police Chief Carl A. Simons, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

McCowan was sentenced in Wichita county district court by Judge Bert J. Vance, Garden City, after Vance had overruled his motion for a new trial.  J. D. Muench, Scott City, McCowan's court-appointed attorney, then announced an intention to appeal the conviction to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Muench told The Salina Journal he expected to have the notice of appeal filed within 10 days.  The Journal also interviewed other persons involved in McCowan's trial.

In the motion for a new trial, Muench claimed Vance had erred both in his instructions to the Saline county jury which tried the case on a change of venue order, and in his ruling forbidding certain defense evidence.

Vance instructed the jury that Simon's May 25 arrest of McCowan was legal.  Muench disputes this, as well as the lack of any instruction on lesser included offenses (which could have given the jury such options as 2nd-degree murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter).

Simons was slain by the handcuffed McCowan when the defendant was able to get a .357 magnum pistol from his car.  The lawman had stopped McCowan's car on a deserted stretch of K-25 a mile north of Leoti on a pickup order for an alleged parole violation.

Trial testimony revealed that the pickup order later was withdrawn, but that Simons never was notified.

In his closing arguments at the trial, Muench attempted to dispute the legality of the arrest, but was shut off by prosecution objections upheld by Vance.  The objections had the effect of thoroughly emasculating Muench's closing argument, which lasted barely 5 minutes.

Muench wanted the question of whether the arrest was legal to be decided by the jury.  Vance ruled it was legal as a matter of law because Simons had a pickup order, was in uniform and known to be a police officer.

McCowan's escape was the felony cited by the prosecution under the felony murder rule.  The defense was trying to make the point that the felony murder rule did not apply.  Muench claimed the arrest was not legal and that, therefore, McCowan had nothing to escape from.

Muench said his trial strategy was aiming at a verdict on a lesser offense.  "We felt (the shooting) occurred in the heat of passion.  They were in a quarrel, which fits voluntary manslaughter," Muench told The Journal.

He had sought the lesser-offense instruction but Vance ruled that in a murder committed during the commission of a felony the only choices a jury has is to find the defendant guilty or innocent of first-degree murder.  The judge said no lesser offense could be considered when a felony was involved.

The second point raised in the new trial motion, on Vance's ruling preventing certain defense evidence, concerned testimony about Simons himself.

The defense had witnesses available at the trial to testify on "the character and nature of the deceased," Muench said.

Vance forbade the testimony because, he said, the defense wished to bring up specific instances about Simons' conduct.  The judge said a man's general reputation in his community is the controlling factor, rather than isolated examples of negative behavior.  The evidence also was irrelevant, Vance ruled, because the character of a police officer doesn't matter when he's making a lawful arrest.

Courtroom observers, with the clarity of hindsight, have raised other points about the trial.  Why, for example, did the defendant not try for a verdict of innocent by reason of insanity --- a not uncommon tactic in murder cases?  And if the legality of the arrest could be disputed, why was McCowan's illegal possession of the handgun not considered as the felony cited for purposes of the felony murder rule?  Wichita County Attorney Claude Heath, Leoti, Special Prosecutor Adrian Farver, Burlingame, and Muench had answers.

McCowan was examined at the Lyons state hospital on a defense request, Muench said.  The opinion of the psychiatrists there was that the defendant was sane at the time he committed the crime.  The defense, therefore, was unable to support an insanity plea.

Heath said either the handgun possession or the escape could have been cited as the felony under the felony murder rule.  However, when McCowan was recaptured near Eads, Colo., a few hours after the shooting, the identity of the murder weapon was unknown.  Simons' service revolver also was missing.

"We had to act pretty fast," Heath said.  "We had to get the warrant out (for McCowan's arrest) and specify the felony."

The warrant charged first-degree murder, citing the escape as the felony.  At the time it was the only felony known.

"The escape was the easiest thing to prove," Heath said.

It also, Muench believes, is the easiest thing to dispute.

"We were going on the premise the arrest was lawful," Farver said in reference to the prosecution's trial strategy.  Later he added, "I expect the lawful arrest will probably be the main issue in the appeal."

Muench said the appeal would include several other points in addition to the pair raised in his motion for a new trial.

Heath, incidentally, is now technically off the case as he did not run for reelection as Wichita county attorney, but he could be appointed a special prosecutor to follow the appeal.  Muench, whose original duty to McCowan ended with the sentencing, was reappointed to carry out the appeal.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ January 20, 1977 ~ Page 15)


POLICE  CHIEF  SLAYER  GUILTY  IN  FIREARM  TRIAL

LEOTI --- The convicted killer of the Leoti police chief, who was shot to death last year, has been found guilty of two federal firearms violations.

Richard McCowan, 32, of Leoti, was found guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court at Wichita.  He had been charged with making false statements in buying a firearm and unlawfully transporting a firearm.

He was sentenced by the court to five years in prison on each count.  The sentences will run consecutively.

McCowan was convicted last January in Saline County District Court of the murder of Carl Simons.  The trial took place at Salina on a change of venue from Wichita County.  He was given a life sentence for the shooting death of Simons, who was killed May 25, 1976, while he was attempting to arrest McCowan for a probation violation.

The new sentences will run concurrently with his life sentence.

The federal charges against Simons were filed in connection with the purchase of a gun at Garden City by McCowan, who made a false statement stating that he had no prior felony convictions.  He later carried the weapon across the state line to Kiowa County, Colorado, where he was arrested near Eads on the morning following the shooting.

McCowan currently is serving his time in the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing.
(Hutchinson News ~ Thursday ~ June 2, 1977 ~ Page 12)


NEW  TRIAL  FOR  McCOWAN

TOPEKA, Kan. --- The Kansas Supreme Court Saturday ordered a new trial for Richard McCowan, convicted of the slaying of Leoti Police Chief Carl Simons, and upheld a drug conspiracy conviction of a narcotics agent for former Attorney General Vern Miller.

Simons died of gunshot wounds from a scuffle with McCowan when the police chief was arresting McCowan in 1976 for a parole violation.  McCowan subsequently was convicted under the felony murder rule, which declares a person who commits a felony in which another person dies is guilty of first-degree murder.

The felony cited against the Wichita County man was aggravated escape from custody.

In overturning the case, the Supreme Court said the felony charge was improper.  The justice said the definition of aggravated escape from custody requires that, at time of the escape, the suspect be held in lawful custody on a conviction of felony or on a written charge.

The court said Simons could not serve a written charge against McCowan because an order to detain him had been canceled without Simons' knowledge.

"Secondly the deceased was not acting in the discharge of any official duty but rather as a private citizen when he arrested the appellant outside his territorial jurisdiction," the ruling said.

Simons had stopped McCowan's car 1-1/2 miles outside the Leoti city limits and ordered McCowan from the car at gunpoint and handcuffed him.  While Simons was making a radio call from his car, McCowan returned to his own car and with the help of his oldest daughter obtained a revolver from the glove compartment.

Still handcuffed behind his back and holding the gun, McCowan ordered Simons to release him.  In the ensuing scuffle, two shots fired by McCowan hit and killed the police chief.

In another case, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Craig Glazer --- one-time drug agent for former Attorney General Miller --- for conspiracy to deliver cocaine.  Glazer was convicted in Johnson County District Court in 1975 of plotting to set up two "fall guys" in a controversial drug raid June 24, 1974, at a motel in Meriam.

Donald Woodbeck, an Arizona drug dealer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and was granted immunity as a state witness, had testified he supplied the drugs for the motel raid in an arrangement with Glazer.

In its decision, the high court noted that Glazer apparently was attempting to set up a big narcotics arrest to bring favor to himself and to Miller, who was running for governor.

"Miller was running for governor of the state of Kansas and had promised the voters if he was elected a five-state agency would be organized to deal with the growing traffic in illicit drugs," the decision said.  "The agency was to be funded by a federal grant.  If Glazer could arrange an arrest involving a large sale of drugs he, Glazer, would receive recognition and possible appointment as head of the five-state agency.  The resulting publicity would enhance Miller's chances for election.  In turn, if Glazer received the appointment he would have access to information on undercover activities which when relayed to Woodbeck would be invaluable to Woodbeck in continuing his illicit business."

Testimony indicated Glazer had asked Woodbeck to bring a quantity of drugs to Kansas from Arizona for use in setting up the drug arrest.  Then two Kansas City men were asked to act as Woodbeck's bodyguards with the idea of "framing" them for the sale of the drugs to Glazer.

The high court examined several defense contentions and dismissed them, declaring there was insufficient error to reserve the conviction.
(Hutchinson News ~ Sunday ~ January 22, 1978 ~ Page 30)


MURDER  RE-TRIAL  MAY  BE  IN  NEW  LOCATION

LEOTI --- A change of venue has been ordered in the re-trial of Richard McCowan, 33, Leoti, for murder, but it is not known if the case will be returned to Salina.

McCowan, accused of the May 25, 1976, shooting of Carl A. Simons, who was Leoti's sole police officer, was found guilty after a Jan. 3-6, 1977, trial in Saline County District Court, but the conviction was overturned on appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The earlier trial was held in Saline County on a change of venue order, but the defense has requested a different site for the re-trial.

"We're starting all over again," said Wichita County District Judge Bert J. Vance.  Vance presided over the original trial.

Vance said a new information had been filed against McCowan alleging first-degree murder by premeditation and during the commission of a felony.  A preliminary hearing has been held and McCowan was bound over for trial.

Vance upheld the defense motion for a change of venue, but said he had not yet received the formal order for the change to be submitted by the attorneys.  When he gets it, it will go to the Supreme Court, who will reassign the case to another county.

Vance said the defense did not particularly want to return to Saline County, apparently because of a 1975 Salina murder case in which a police officer was the victim.

It was the application of the felony murder rule which caused the reversal of the original conviction and life sentence.

Simons had arrested McCowan on a highway north of Leoti for a parole violation.  The two men scuffled and Simons was fatally wounded.  McCowan fled and was captured a few hours later in Eads, Colo., a short distance from the Kansas state line.

The felony alleged then was aggravated escape from custody.

What Simons did not know at the time of the incident was that the order for McCowan's arrest on the parole violation had been canceled, thus McCowan could not be lawfully held in custody and, in effect, had nothing to escape from.  The Supreme Court also ruled that Simons, in stopping McCowan beyond the Leoti city limits, was outside his jurisdiction and therefore could not act in any official capacity but only as a private citizen.

The new charge against McCowan beyond the Leoti city limits, was outside his jurisdiction and therefore could not act in any official capacity but only as a private citizen.

The new charge against McCowan also alleges felony murder - a killing committed during the commission of another felony offense - but this time the felony alleged is unlawful possession of a firearm within five years of a prior felony conviction.

Testimony at the first trial revealed that McCowan kept a pistol in the glove compartment of his car.  It was with this weapon that Simons was shot.

McCowan had been paroled on April 12, 1976, just six weeks before Simons' death, from a prison sentence of one to five years for another firearms possession conviction.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ June 30, 1978 ~ Page 3)


MURDER  TRIAL  MOVED  TO  HUTCHINSON

For Accused Police Slayer

TOPEKA, Kan. --- The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a new trial for Richard McCowan, accused in the slaying of a Leoti policeman, will be held in Hutchinson.

The high court this week released an order transferring the case from Wichita County to Reno County, with Wichita County District Judge Bert Vance presiding.

The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the first conviction of McCowan in the May 25, 1976, shooting death of Carl Simons, Leoti's only police officer.  The first trial had been moved from Wichita County to Salina, where McCowan was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Vance had upheld a request for change of venue from defense attorneys.  The defense had asked that the second trial not be held in Salina due to the 1975 murder of a policeman in Salina.

Simons had stopped McCowan north of Leoti to make an arrest for a parole violation and was shot during a scuffle.  McCowan was arrested several hours later in Eads, Colo., near the Kansas border.

The defendant originally was convicted on a charge of first-degree murder committed during a felony, aggravated escape.  The Supreme Court ruled no felony was involved because the order to arrest McCowan on the parole violation had been canceled.  The court ruled McCowan could not be held in custody and had nothing to escape from.

The Supreme Court also said McCowan was stopped outside the Leoti city limits and was outside Simons jurisdiction.

New charges filed against McCowan allege first-degree murder by premeditation and during the commission of a felony --- unlawful possession of a firearm within five years of a prior felony conviction.  Less than two months prior to the shooting, McCowan was paroled from a prison sentence of one to five years for illegally possessing a firearm.
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ August 23, 1978 ~ Page 1)


POLICE  SLAYING  TRIAL  IN  OCTOBER

The murder trial of Richard M. McCowan, accused of killing Leoti police officer Carl A. Simons May 25, 1976, has been scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 30 in Reno County District Court.

The Kansas Supreme Court recently overturned McCowan's conviction in Saline County where the trial was moved from Wichita County.  He was found guilty of first degree murder committed during a felony and aggravated escape.

In overturning that conviction, the Supreme Court ruled that no felony was involved because an order to arrest McCowan for parole violation had been canceled.  Therefore he could not be held in custody and there was nothing for him to escape from.

The court also said that McCowan was outside the Leoti city limits and so outside of Simons' jurisdiction.

New charges filed against McCowan are first degree murder by premeditation committed during the commission of a felony, the unlawful possession of a firearm within five years of a prior felony conviction.

Bert J. Vance, District Court Judge from Garden City, will preside over the trial, which will be prosecuted by the Wichita County Attorney.

In a letter to District Court Administrative Judge Porter Brown, Vance said he didn't expect the trial to last more than four days.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday September 22, 1978 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN  WANTS  OUT

TOPEKA, Kan. - Authorities Thursday rebutted the contention of Richard McCowan, accused of killing a Leoti policeman, that he should be freed from prison on a technicality.

Special Prosecutor Adrian Farver filed documents with the Kansas Supreme Court stating McCowan was wrong to contend his imprisonment at Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing is illegal and a violation of his right to a speedy trial.

The Supreme Court overturned McCowan's first conviction and ordered a new trial in the May 25, 1976, shooting death of Carl Simons, Leoti's only police officer.

He is scheduled to go on trial in Hutchinson on the charges October 30th.

McCowan's petition claims he should be released due to a law declaring a defendant must be discharged if he is not brought up for a new trial within 90 days of the date the case is returned to lower court.  He contends more than 90 days have passed since the case was returned to Wichita County District Court Feb. 17.

Farver, on behalf of Corrections Secretary Jim Marquez and Wichita County Sheriff Melvin McKellips, denied the imprisonment is illegal.  Farver contended McCowan is being held not only in the Wichita County case but also in a federal court action, nullifying the statute he cites.

Simons had stopped McCowan north of Leoti to make an arrest for a parole violation and was shot during a scuffle.  The Supreme Court threw out McCowan's first conviction due to technical problems.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ October 20, 1978 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN'S  HUTCH  TRIAL  CONTINUED

LEOTI, Kan. --- A Wichita County district judge said Saturday the second trial of a Leoti man charged with the murder of the Leoti police chief---scheduled for Monday in Hutchinson---has been continued until the state Supreme Court rules on a motion seeking his release.

Richard McCowan, 32, is charged with first-degree murder in the May 1976 shooting death of Police Chief Carl Simons, the community's only police officer.

Judge Bert Vance of Garden City said McCowan's second trial will not be held until the high court decides a motion for his release from the state prison.  The motion alleges prosecutors violated a law mandating he be bound over for a new trial within 90 days of the date the case was returned to the lower court.  McCowan's case was returned to Wichita County District Court Feb. 17.

McCowan first was convicted in 1977 in Saline County District Court on a change of venue from Wichtia County.  The Supreme Court later overturned that conviction because of technical problems with the charges.

Authorities said the chief had stopped McCowan on a parole violation at the time of the shooting.  Police said McCowan then fled into eastern Colorado, where he was arrested the following day.
(Hutchinson News ~ Sunday ~ October 29, 1978 ~ Page 2)


McCOWAN  TRIAL  STARTS  MONDAY

A second first-degree murder trial of a man accused of killing a Leoti policeman has been scheduled to begin Monday in Reno District Court.

An earlier conviction of Richard McCowan in Saline District Court, where the trial was moved from Wichita County, had been overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court because of technical problems with the charges filed against him.  The second trial, moved to Hutchinson on a change of venue, was to have begun Oct. 30 but was delayed by a petition McCown filed with the high court alleging he should be released because of a lack of a speedy trial.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ December 5, 1978 ~ Page 17)


LEOTI  MURDER  TRIAL  IS  HERE

Jury selection continued in District Court late Monday morning in the first-degree murder trial of a man accused of killing a Leoti policeman.

The trial is the second in the state's case against Richard McCowan.  McCowan previously was convicted of murder in Saline County District Court, where the trial was moved from Wichita County.  That conviction was overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court because of technical matters involving the charges filed against McCowan.

The second trial was moved to Hutchinson on a change of venue.  It was to have begun in October, but was delayed by a petition McCowan filed with the Supreme Court alleging he should be released because of lack of a speedy trial.

That petition was denied and the trial rescheduled.  Reno County will provide jurors and facilities for the trial.  The chief prosecutor is Wichita County Attorney Glendon Rewerts; district judge Bert Vance, Garden City, is presiding and defense counsel is Jay D. Muench, Scott City.
(Hutchinson News ~ Monday December 11, 1978 ~ Page 3)


McCOWAN  JURY  HEARS  TESTIMONY

Three witnesses were called Tuesday morning to testify in the retrial of Richard McCowan, charged with murdering Leoti police chief Carl A. Simons in late May, 1976.

The early testimony set up the events that allegedly led to the death of Simons.  A pickup and hold order was issued for McCowan May 24, 1976 when it was believed he intended to leave the state in violation of his parole on other charges.

Simons received that order, transmitted by the Garden City police department, through then Wichita County Sheriff Lloyd Neyer.

Neyer said Tuesday that he found the order on his teletype machine when he went to work May 25.  he told his undersheriff and Simons to look for McCowan, who had a trailer house in Leoti, and to pick him up if located.

Although the pickup order later was cancelled by Garden City police, a malfunction in the teletype system prevented its transmission throughout the state.  It never was received in Leoti.

Later in the day of May 25, Neyer received a call from Simons, who said that he believed McCowan was in Leoti.  The sheriff got in his patrol car to "scout around" for McCowan.

While looking for McCowan, Neyer said he saw the tail lights of a car on Highway 25 south of the Leoti city limits.  He went to check and discovered the police chief's car, with its lights on, motor running and the right door open.

However, Neyer said he looked around the car but did not see Simons and there was "nothing out of place."

Neyer returned to town to pick up his deputy and the two then returned to Simons' car.  Again they found nothing and started back to town where they saw Simons' wife, who told them she was looking for her husband.  They told her where the car was and she left to check it.

Shortly thereafter, Neyer said Mrs. Simons radioed that there was an "officer down" and "needed help."

Neyer returned to the scene where he found Mrs. Simons with her husband's body in the west ditch of the roadway.

"Carl was laying on the slope of the ditch....I thought him to be dead."

The sheriff said, "I took ahold of his arm and he was cold."

Testimony will continue Tuesday afternoon in the trial, which is expected to take about a week.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ December 12, 1978  Page 1)


LEOTI  MURDER  TRIAL  JURY  IS  SELECTED

AT  HUTCHINSON

Nine men and three women were selected out of 58 prospective jurors to serve in the first-degree murder trial of Richard McCowan, who is accused of killing a Leoti policeman.

Two other men were selected as jury alternates.

Of the 58 persons who were called for possible duty, 42 were qualified to serve.  The jury was selected, in the judge's chambers, from that list.

The trial is the second in the state's case against Richard McCowan.  McCowan previously was convicted of murder in Saline County District Court, where the trial was moved from Wichita County.  That conviction was overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court because of technical matters involving the charges filed against McCowan.

The second trial was moved to Hutchinson on a change of venue.  It was to have begun in October, but was delayed by a petition.  McCowan filed with the Supreme Court alleging he should be released because of lack of a speedy trial.

That petition was denied and the trial rescheduled.  Reno County will provide jurors and facilities for the trial.  The chief prosecutor is Wichita County Attorney Glendon Rewerts; district judge Bert Vance, Garden City, is presiding and defense counsel is Jay D. Muench, Scott City.

Claude Heath, who was Wichita County Attorney when the charges were filed, and Burlingame attorney Adrian Farber will serve as special prosecutors.
(Hutchinson News ~ Tuesday ~ December 12, 1978 ~ Page 3)


                 
  
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