Judge to hear arguments for new murder trial for KCK man who’s already served 23 years in prison

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A man serving two life sentences for the murders of two KCK men is getting a new hearing Thursday morning.

His supporters claim he never did the crime – and hopes he gets freed.

Laonte McIntyre has been in prison since 1994 – but in recent years, the Midwest Innocence Project has taken up his case. They helped secure Thursday’s hearing and hope a judge will set him free.

Back in 1994, a 17-year-old McIntyre was tried and convicted in the shotgun slayings of two men in KCK. He claims he was with family members in another part of town when the slayings occurred.

But the KCK Police Department investigated the case, and their testimony helped put McIntyre behind bars. He is now serving two life sentences in Lansing and isn’t eligible for parole for another seven years.

The Midwest Innocence Project claims police spent less than 20 minutes interviewing witnesses and that a corrupt detective inside the police force set McIntyre up for the fall.

That detective is now retired and has not been charged with any crime.

His supporters also say the victim’s families believe McIntyre to be innocent and hope the hearing will help set him free after serving more than 23 years in prison.

They contend that McIntyre did not know the victims, that he had no motive, that no weapon linked McIntyre to the crime, and that there were no search warrants issued to gather evidence against him.

A retired judge from another part of the state will hear this case. It’s expected to take several days. This is not a new trial – just a hearing to decide whether McIntyre should be granted a new trial, be released, or go back to prison.

"Today I'm hoping he can come home so he can eat a good meal, be around his family, be around the people who love and miss him, you know just to see that smile on his face that long awaited smile," his father, James, said.

Fox 4 will be inside the courtroom when the hearing begins at 9 a.m. and give you updates throughout the day.