TOPEKA — The Kansas attorney general recommended the state pay $1.5 million and grant other benefits to the man wrongfully convicted in a double-murder in Kansas City, Kan., and incarcerated nearly a quarter century before released in 2017.
Former inmate Lamonte McIntyre filed a lawsuit in March based on claims he didn't have a role in the 1994 murder of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He had been convicted and sentenced to two life terms despite lack of physical evidence, no motive linking him to the crime and testimony he was with relatives in another part of the city when the shooting occurred.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Tuesday evidence presented by McIntyre's lawyers, as well as an inquiry by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, demonstrated McIntyre wasn't a participant in the crime and would be eligible for compensation from the state.
He said the information-gathering process was lengthened because McIntyre's convictions were vacated by a judge before all evidence pointing to the injustice was presented in district court.
"We have worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings," Schmidt said. "We are now able to tell the court we have reviewed all evidence we know to be available, completed our due diligence in evaluating that evidence, and agree that Mr. McIntyre is able to show he has met the statutory requirements for compensation under the new law."
He said the KBI's investigation of the 1994 double homicide confirmed "previously available information and discovered additional information that supports Mr. McIntyre’s claim of innocence."
In October, McIntyre's counsel submitted to the attorney general's office more than 9,000 pages of documents in the case.
Schmidt said he would file a settlement recommendation in Shawnee County District Court based on negotiations with McIntyre's attorneys about specific terms of judgment. The State Finance Council, which includes the governor and top legislative leaders, is responsible for approving payment packages to exonerees.
McIntyre would be entitled to approximately $1.5 million based on payment of $65,000 for every year served in prison. He could claim attorney fees and support for counseling, housing, personal financial literacy, tuition and health care.
Five people have filed wrongful-conviction claims under the Kansas law adopted in 2018. The state agreed to court-ordered payments to Richard Jones in a Johnson County case and to Floyd Bledsoe in a Jefferson County case. Two cases in Sedgwick and Clay counties are pending.