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Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted First Degree Murder at The Lawrence Community Shelter

Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 2:37pm

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that Tuesday afternoon Kansas City, Missouri resident Christopher J.G. McKay, 22; plead guilty as charged to attempted first degree murder.

Law enforcement officers with the Lawrence Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol were dispatched to The Lawrence Community Shelter on March 13, 2014 shortly after 3:00 p.m.  The caller advised a person had been stabbed.  When officers arrived they found a victim that had been stabbed in the neck and McKay being held down by staff and guests of the shelter.  The victim would be transported to Overland Park Regional Hospital where hospital staff advised he would require emergency surgery to a laceration to the right side of his neck.  He also suffered cuts to his left hand when he was defending himself from the attack.  He was later admitted to the intensive care unit.

Through the officers’ investigation, it was learned that McKay was a kitchen volunteer while a guest at the shelter.  McKay took a steak type knife from the kitchen and hid it in his sweatshirt pocket.  When McKay and the victim were walking out of the kitchen area, McKay came up behind the victim and attempted to slash his throat with the knife he had hidden in his pocket.  The victim defended himself and staff and guests of the shelter subdued McKay and they kept him from continuing his attack on the victim. 

Depending on the findings of the presentence investigation report ordered by the Judge, McKay faces a prison sentence of 147 months to 653 months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.  A status hearing was scheduled for February 12 at 9:00 a.m. in the Division Six courtroom.

Tuesday’s hearing was held in the courtroom of the Honorable Peggy C. Kittel.  The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol and was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney David Melton and Assistant District Attorney Deborah Moody.

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Media Contact

Cheryl Wright Kunard - Assistant to the District Attorney
785-841-0211