TOPEKA (KSNT) – Since the beginning of 2023, there have been 7 homicides in Topeka. Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay commented on the high number, saying he was saddened by the many incidents.
“I can’t remember a singular month during my time as a prosecutor, where we had so many homicides,” Kagay said.
He stressed that violence is never the answer, but believes there is “no reason for the wider community to worry” about the 2023 killings. These are isolated incidents where the parties know each other or are sometimes at odds. domestic nature, according to Kagay.
Three of the seven victims were children, and Kagay discussed what the sentence would look like for those arrested in their respective cases. Kyle Tyler is accused of setting fire to a house, killing Genny Fitzpatrick and her two children Peyton and Kourtney. As well as the case of Dustin Kelley, accused of killing a 16-month-old baby.
“If anyone abuses a child or harms a child in this community, they will be held accountable,” Kagay said.
Kagay said he plans to work closely with the Topeka Police Department to prevent and deter people from committing these violent crimes.
In addition to speaking about violent crimes as of 2023, Kagay spoke about recent developments with the Dana Chandler trial. The court granted a motion for the trial to take place in Pottawatomie County later this year, as it was originally scheduled to begin this month.
The district attorney noted that when a motion was filed to change the locations from Shawnee County to Pottawatomie, his office objected. He was in favor of the trial remaining in Shawnee County, where the crime occurred and where most of the jurors and witnesses are located.
To close out his time on the 27 News morning show, Kagay said he plans to run for re-election in 2024 and beyond, as well as detailing legislative priorities such as the right to a speedy trial.