WICHITA, Kan.Court motions are usually meticulously crated by attorneys.  But not always.

“In every jail, in every prison, there are so-called jailhouse lawyers who will draft pleadings like this for an inmate in exchange for a cigarette,” attorney Dan Monnat says.

But Monnat adds, it’s not a good idea.

Bluml and three others are accused of killing Bluml’s adoptive parents at their rural Valley Center home.  One of Bluml’s motions asks the court to suppress statements made to detectives, because he writes he was “under the influence of narcotics.”

Another motion asks for a speedy trial within 90 days–no delays.

“In a capital case, where an individual may be looking at the death sentence, there is probably no wisdom that indicates rushing to trial on that case,” Monnat says.

Monnat – who is not involved in this case–says defendants often file motions like this out of fear and frustration.  He says court-appointed attorneys such as Bluml’s tend to be very busy, and their clients get anxious.

“A young adult–fighting for his life, charged with a capital offense, afraid–may not have the emotional endurance to wait until his overwhelmed, court-appointed lawyer can get to the many issues involved in a capital case,” Monnat says.

He adds that defendants have the right to file motions like this, and judges must consider them.  But without legal expertise, Monnat says defendants can unknowingly incriminate themselves and end up paying a big price for it.

See video at KWCH

KWCH TV – By Jim Grawe

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita attorney Sal Intagliata, of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, has been appointed to serve on the Kansas Judicial Council Criminal Law Advisory Committee.  Intagliata joins fellow lawyers, Judges, law professors and Legislators from across Kansas on the 14-member committee, whose role is to regularly review the Kansas Criminal Code and the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure.

“The committee provides support to the Kansas Judicial Council in its efforts to review the judicial branch of government, identify areas of potential improvement, and offer the Supreme Court and Legislature recommendations for change,” explains Dan Monnat, President of the firm.  “The role of the Kansas Judicial Council is critical to ensuring our court system remains fair, balanced and current. It’s an honor for members of the legal profession to join the committee, and we are extremely proud of Sal for receiving this coveted appointment.”

Intagliata has been in private practice as a criminal defense attorney for 14 years, defending people accused of all manner and severity level of crimes throughout the State of Kansas in federal, state, and municipal courts.  Intagliata also practiced four years as an Assistant District Attorney with the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, assigned to the Gangs and Violent Crimes Division.

In addition to his work on the Kansas Judicial Council, Intagliata serves on the Board of Governors for the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a past Vice President of the Wichita Bar Association, a past Chair of the Wichita Bar Association Criminal Practice Committee and a current member of that committee.

Intagliata is an Honors Graduate with Distinction from the University of Kansas, earning degrees in both Spanish and political science.  He earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1995. He is licensed to practice in the State Courts of Kansas, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, was founded 28 years ago by Monnat and legal scholar Stan Spurrier.  The firm has six attorneys and focuses almost exclusively on criminal defense, white-collar criminal defense, and appellate defense in municipal, state and federal courts.

WICHITA, Kan. – The American Collegiate Society for Adapted Athletics (ACSAA) has elected Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered attorney Jon McConnell to its Board of Directors. By organizing tournament competitions, ACSAA works with colleges and universities across the country to further competitive athletic opportunities for disabled college students.

ACSAA works frequently with the Intercollegiate Division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to sponsor tournaments. This fall, ACSAA will begin sponsoring wheelchair tennis tournaments, as well.

“We work with some amazing young athletes who have as much drive, skill and passion as any able-bodied athletes on any court,” McConnell said. “It’s a privilege for me to be part of this organization and help increase support for adapted athletics in all sports.”

McConnell was recently named among the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 and is a member of the Wichita Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2013. In addition to his criminal defense work, he is a tireless fundraiser and advocate for community organizations, including:

  • Temple Attorney for the Midian Shrine Temple, which helps raise money to support 22 Shriners Hospitals.

  • Board Member of American Collegiate Society for Adapted Athletics, an organization that furthers competitive athletic opportunities for disabled students at the college level through tournament competitions.

  • Campaign Manager for Austin Henry’s 2013 American Diabetes Association “Father of the Year Campaign”, which raised more than $20,000 for the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

  • First Runner-Up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year 2012, which raised more than $21,000 for the cause.  McConnell organized six large events and a benefit “Rock The Cure” concert to raise money for the organization.

  • Hillside Christian Church, working with the High School Youth and the Property Committee.

“Jon is a gifted attorney who epitomizes tenacity, both as a trial lawyer defending persons accused of crime, and as an advocate for charitable organizations that better our community,” said Dan Monnat, President of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. “We are proud of Jon for his legal accomplishments, as well as for his dedication to causes that enrich the lives of others.”

McConnell has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University, where he took several opportunities to study abroad.  Through a cooperative program between WSU and the New Scotland Yard, he studied international law in the United Kingdom.  He also studied Spanish and Mexican culture through the WSU Summer Program in Puebla, Mexico.

A graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Fla., McConnell is a former law clerk for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in Fort Lauderdale.

McConnell is licensed to practice before the federal and state courts in Kansas.  He is a member of the Wichita Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association and American Bar Association, as well as the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, was founded 28 years ago by Monnat and legal scholar Stan Spurrier.  The firm has six attorneys and focuses on criminal defense, white-collar criminal defense, and appellate defense in municipal, state and federal courts.

WICHITA, Kan. – A Sedgwick County judge is deciding whether an independent expert will be allowed in a room for DNA testing in regards to a double-murder.

Tony Bluml, Kisha Schaberg, Drew Ellington and Braden Smith are charged with killing Roger and Melissa Bluml during a robbery attempt in November. The Blumls were found suffering from gunshot wounds. Melissa died that night, Roger passed away from his injuries Dec. 23.

The four face capital murder charges.

The DNA testing has been put on hold because the judge has said there is not enough DNA for a second defense test. During a hearing last month, the judge ordered a video camera to be put in the DNA testing room. But now the judge said cameras are not feasible.

“If the prosecution can’t give the accused the second test that they’re entitled to, then the accused is entitled to the next best thing: An independent expert being present or videotaping of the prosecution’s one-sided test,” said local defense attorney Dan Monnat.

According to Monnat, cross-checking DNA is a tool to protect the innocent.

“It is not too much to ask where an accused individual’s life is on the line,” Monnat said. “If the testing is flawed or misreported, it can just as powerfully convict the innocent.”

Marc Bennett, Sedgwick County District Attorney, said allowing a defense expert in the DNA testing room could set a new precedent for Kansas.

See video at KWCH

KWCH TV – by Jade DeGood

WICHITA, Kansas – Terry Loewen, the man accused by federal prosecutors of plotting to set off a car bomb at the Wichita airport, appeared in court Tuesday.

The government is seeking more time to try the case.

It was a brief hearing.

Loewen smiled at his defense attorneys as he entered the courtroom, but the defendant who investigators are calling a domestic terrorist did not speak a word during the 15 minute hearing.

The judge, Kenneth Gale, will allow this case to move forward under the complex classification, an exemption that is usually granted when there are circumstances that will likely force the case to take longer than required by law.

Attorneys for the government told the judge there is a significant amount of evidence that needs to be classified, and it can only be declassified by a high ranking department head in Washington D.C.

The judge wants to see all of the evidence that will be presented in this trial in 30 days, which is the standard deadline in traditional cases, and under normal circumstances the trial needs to be wrapped up in fewer than 70 days.

“Here the government is saying that it conducted such an extensive, intensive, complex sting against this former United States marine and long-time Wichita aircraft worker that it can’t even turn over all of its evidence within 120 days of arraignment,” said Attorney Dan Monnat. “Thus, the case should be called complex, and the government excused from the usual legal deadlines.”

The judge admits the case will take longer than expected and wants a status hearing every 30 days until the trial.

See video at KSN

KSNW TV – by Brian Miller