200811.22
0

Murder Case Dismissed Against Southwest Kansas Pair

Next week, Chad and Shannon Floyd will be able to relax in western Kansas free of the murder charges that dogged them for the past three years. The husband and wife are set to meet with a judge in Johnson City, about five hours west of Wichita in southwest Kansas, on Monday to sign a final order of dismissal in a murder case against them that’s dragged through two trials that ended without a verdict.

“Chad and Shannon Floyd and their families have had to endure three years of accusations, innuendo and rumor that have been absolutely false,” said Wichita attorney Dan Monnat, who represented Chad Floyd.

The body of Michael Golub, 27, has never been found. Golub was a former boyfriend of Shannon Floyd, now 30. The two were involved in a custody dispute over their son. Golub disappeared on May 20, 2005. The Floyds said Golub never showed up to get the boy that night. His pickup was found six days later on a county road in northwest Grant County.

Richard Guinn and Barry Disney of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office claimed Chad and Shannon Floyd shot Golub when he came to pick up his son. The prosecutors said the custody battle interfered with plans for the Floyds to move to Montana from their Stanton County home, less than a half-hour from the Colorado border.

The couple purchased a gun the day Golub disappeared, and investigators found Golub’s blood had dripped between the planks on the Floyds’ front porch. Witnesses said Chad Floyd, now 29, told a friend he’d pay Golub $50,000 to drop the case and said he wished Golub would disappear.

Lawyers Monnat and Kurt Kerns, both of Wichita, argued for the defense that there were people near the Floyds’ house that night who would have heard gunshots – but didn’t – and that a different friend of the Floyds showed up unexpectedly when the killing was supposedly taking place. The defense also suggested that Golub’s role as an informant in a local drug case led to his disappearance. Adding to the rural courtroom drama: The Floyds are part of an affluent family that owns a chain of banks in the western part of Kansas and in eastern Colorado.

“They handled the situation with dignity and perseverance, believing their innocence would eventually be demonstrated for all,” said Kerns, who represented Shannon Floyd.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Attorney General said that after each hung jury, Monnat and Kerns asked the judge to dismiss the case in a way that would prevent the state from reopening it. This is called dismissal with prejudice. “The concern is that if a third trial based on the exact same evidence ends in a hung jury the court may seriously consider a dismissal with prejudice,” said Ashley Anstaett on behalf of the attorney general. Under the terms of the dismissal, the state can file the charges again if prosecutors discover evidence that “materially strengthens” their case.

All content © 2008 THE WICHITA EAGLE and may not be republished without permission.

The Wichita Eagle – By Ron Sylvester