May 19, 2022

Ex-Kansas police officer to face new manslaughter trial

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas police officer accused of shooting a man to death five years ago while on duty will face a new trial next month after his first trial ended in a mistrial.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said Wednesday that Matthew Harrington’s new trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge will begin June 6, the Kansas City Star reported.

Last month, a mistrial was declared in Harrington’s first trial after a jury in Leavenworth could not reach a unanimous verdict. Harrington is charged in the July 2017 shooting of 47-year-old Antonio Garcia Jr. as Garcia sat inside a vehicle in Leavenworth.

The shooting occurred when Harrington responded to a domestic dispute at a Leavenworth home, police said. Garcia left, but later returned and was sitting in his vehicle when Harrington approached.

Prosecutors said Garcia had a knife but didn’t threaten Harrington, who fired several times into the vehicle after the two men struggled, according to a video from Harrington’s body camera.

Harrington was fired in 2018 after a police department investigation found he violated policies on the use of deadly force.

Harrington was indicted later that year, and a Leavenworth County judge ruled in 2020 that Harrington could not claim legal immunity, sending the case to trial.

In 2019, the city of Leavenworth reached a $1 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Garcia’s family.