Kansas awards wrongfully convicted KCK man $1.5 million after decades in prison

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Lamonte McIntyre

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A wrongfully convicted KCK man will receive more than $1.5 million from the state of Kansas for his time in prison.

Lamonte McIntyre spent 23 years behind bars for a double homicide before a judge vacated the convictions. Now, the state will compensate him for that time.

“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man,” his attorney, Cheryl Pilate, said in a statement. “That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits, will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried.”

RELATED: Lamonte McIntyre speaks on ‘bittersweet’ freedom after 23 years in prison

McIntyre was 17 in 1994 when he was arrested for the killings of 21-year-old Doniel Quinn and 34-year-old Donald Ewing, who were shot in broad daylight.

He was convicted, even though no physical evidence or motive tied him to the crimes, and sentenced to two life sentences.

But he was freed in 2017 after Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree asked the court to vacate his convictions and drop all charges, calling his case an example of “manifest injustice.” Prosecutors argued testimony from the trial was allegedly coerced.

After filing a mistaken-conviction lawsuit with the state in March 2019, it took months for McIntyre to get his compensation. 

The attorney general’s office supported two other wrongful conviction cases last year in Kansas, allowing the court to quickly grant those men money and officially declare them innocent.

But it objected to McIntyre’s claims until just weeks ago.

RELATED: Kansas drops fight against compensating wrongly convicted KCK man who spent decades in prison

Earlier this month, Attorney General Derek Schmidt dropped his fight against McIntyre’s case after reviewing 900 pages of documents from McIntyre’s attorney that hadn’t been provided previously.

Now the lawsuit has been fully resolved, awarding McIntyre $1,553,379.45.

“We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction,” Schmidt said Monday. 

Under a 2018 Kansas law, McIntyre was due $65,000 for each year he spent in prison — plus money to cover attorney fees and other expenses.

Records of his conviction, arrest and DNA profile record information have been expunged, and McIntyre received several other benefits from the state.

Here is the full statement from McIntyre’s attorney:

“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man. That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits, will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried. 

“Lamonte is grateful for the benefits of the compensation statute, but he knows his fight for justice is far from over. He and his mother, Rose McIntyre, will continue with their lawsuit against the Unified Government and the individual officers who are responsible for their 23-year nightmare.

“The individuals involved twisted the justice system to serve their own ends, not the needs of the community or the goal of truth-finding. No justice was served by their actions, and a full accounting of their wrongful conduct must occur.”

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