KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Mark Dupree has won the Democratic primary and will become the next Wyandotte County District Attorney.
The race saw incumbent Mark Dupree run against challenger Kristiane Bryant. The race was close with Dupree getting 8,790 votes to Bryant’s 7,334.
Dupree won the seat in 2016, unseating the district attorney at that time, Jerome Gorman.
Prior to his election four years ago, Dupree served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Jackson County and also worked in the Johnson County Public Defender’s Office.
Bryant has been a prosecuting attorney for 14 years, serving seven years in the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office.
Dupree has touted the creation of the Conviction Integrity Unit as one of his main accomplishments. The unit was created after Lamont McIntyre was freed from prison after 23 years for a crime he did not commit.
Dupree was instrumental in freeing McIntyre, dropping all charges midway through an exoneration hearing.
“When you have the wrong person in custody, then the right person who committed the crime is still doing wrong in our community. And our job as ministers of justice is to ensure that the right person is locked up,” Dupree said at the time.
Dupree’s term, however, has not been without criticism, specifically a scathing editorial in The Kansas City Star with several sources inside the criminal justice system accusing Dupree of sloppy work, including lenient plea deals and missing subpoenas.
In January, the jury in the murder trial of Nicholas Magee, released a rare statement saying they regretted having to find the defendant not guilty of murdering Jocelyn Ybarra and her unborn baby.
The letter from the jury said they did not receive very much evidence in the case. You can read the full letter here.
Sources close to the investigation said that much of the evidence provided to the Wyandotte County DA’s office by KCK police wasn’t presented, and the lead detective on the case, who had been subpoenaed and was waiting in the hallway, was never called to testify by Deputy District Attorney Darrell Smith.
Dupree has also had the case of former KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler in his possession for over a year without filing charges.
In June, FOX4 talked with Danielle Sediqzad, a former assistant district attorney in Wyandotte County, who said, during a high-profile case update in Dupree’s office in 2017, he instructed Sediqzad and her co-council not to cooperate with police.
In response to the criticism he’s received, Dupee said that he’s trying to change the system, and that’s why he’s getting push back.
During her campaign, Bryant said that she supports the Conviction Integrity Unit, but would like to make that unit more transparent.