WICHITA, Kansas — Cornell Antoine McNeal made his first court appearance before Judge Kisner Friday afternoon. He was booked late Wednesday on suspicion of rape and attempted first-degree murder in the attack Friday night at Fairmount Park.

McNeal was charged Friday with attempted capital murder, rape and two counts of arson. The charge also includes an alternative charge of attempted first-degree, premeditated murder. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for December 4th at 9:00 a.m. and his bond was set at $250,000.

Court documents revealed that McNeal has been unemployed for 6 years and cannot pay for his own defense. McNeal was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or any of the state’s witnesses.

Forensic scientists said that forensic evidence has been the key in this case connecting McNeal to the crime. However, police have been very tight lipped about what evidence they have.

Records show that he was last behind bars on November 6th, just one week before the attack in Fairmount Park took place.

KSN asked the jail which inmates are required to give a DNA sample, and they say not every inmate is required to provide a sample.

Officials said that any person convicted as an adult IS required to give a DNA sample for the following crimes:

  • Any felony, a crime that carries a sentence of over 1 year in prison.
  • Sex offenses
  • Crimes related to prostitution
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Crimes involving criminal restraint against a victim
  • Some attempted crimes, which include certain misdemeanors.

KSN legal analyst Dan Monnat said the only other way to get a DNA sample is with a search warrant.

“DNA evidence is like any other evidence. It can be obtained by a search warrant if there is probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime and that the DNA will be evidence that helps them solve the crime,” said Monnat.

The victim of the attack remains in critical condition due to the nature of her extensive injuries. She was found on fire in Fairmount Park, just south of the Wichita State University campus in northeast Wichita, around 11:30 p.m. Friday night.


TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for additional gay marriages in the state’s most populous county while declaring that it would defer to the federal courts on whether Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional.

The Kansas court also declined to say whether all of the state’s 105 counties fall under a U.S. Supreme Court order last week blocking the state from enforcing laws and a provision in its constitution against gay marriage. The nation’s highest court acted in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union over the denial of marriage licenses to lesbian couples in two counties.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision, gay couples have obtained marriage licenses and wed in at least a few counties, but not in those where the chief state district court judges were blocking them. In Kansas, district court clerks issue marriage licenses after a mandatory three-day wait.

The inconsistency appeared likely to continue. State Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement that the Kansas court’s decision leaves it to the federal courts and local state judges to decide whether marriage licenses are issued to same-sex couples.

“Because a provision in the Kansas Constitution is at peril, the state of Kansas will continue its defense in federal court as long as a defense is properly available,” Schmidt said.

But Tom Witt, executive director of the gay-rights group Equality Kansas, said the Kansas Supreme Court is telling lower-court judges it won’t stop them if they authorize same-sex marriage licenses.

“It’s yet another step in the right direction toward full marriage equality,” Witt said.

The Kansas Supreme Court lifted its hold on licenses to same-sex couples in Johnson County, home to affluent Kansas City suburbs. The chief judge of its district court authorized such licenses last month after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases from three federal appeals courts that had overturned gay marriage bans. Schmidt then went to court to stop the Johnson Count marriages.

The Kansas court said it would hold off on further review of Schmidt’s petition until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves the issue. But the Kansas court also said Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty “was within his jurisdiction” to consider federal court decisions striking down gay-marriage bans in other states.

In its order signed by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, the Kansas court also said there’s no reason to keep the hold on same-sex marriage licenses in place in Johnson County when the U.S. Supreme Court has authorized them elsewhere in the state.

Schmidt, recently re-elected by a 2-to-1 margin, has justified his defense of the gay-marriage ban by noting that voters overwhelmingly approved adding the policy to the state constitution in 2005.

The attorney general also has said the U.S. Supreme Court order in the ACLU lawsuit applies only in Douglas County in northeast Kansas and Sedgwick County, home to Wichita in south-central Kansas, because no other court clerks were defendants. The ACLU contends the order applies statewide.

The Kansas court said the U.S. Supreme Court decision “is not as localized as the State argues” but declined to spell out its scope. The Kansas court also refused to set a single rule for all counties in handling marriage licenses for same-sex couples, saying state courts don’t issue advisory opinions.

KSN sat down with Wichita legal analyst, Dan Monnat, to delve into what Tuesday’s order really means for Kansas counties and same-sex couples.

“The Kansas Supreme Court says ‘we understand that we have been invited to clarify the law for all districts, but we decline to specifically do so,’” said Monnat. “[That is] because the Kansas Supreme Court does not give advisory opinions, only decides concrete cases and controversies squarely before it.”

Monnat offered further analysis.

“The Kansas Supreme Court did hint that the Kansas laws against same-sex marriage are probably unconstitutional, as ruled by a Kansas federal district court recently,” said Monnat. “But, the Supreme Court of Kansas indicated that it would wait for the federal court to finally decide the issue.”

Associated Press / KSN TV – By Brittany Glas

WICHITA, Kansas – While courts continue to hash out the decision, many same-sex couples are eagerly awaiting the chance to get married.

Martin Wilson said it’s been a whirlwind of emotions since Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied the State of Kansas appeal to stop same-sex marriage.

“You go through every bit of emotion when you find out that it’s unconstitutional, the ban has been lifted and you can finally get married,” said Wilson.

Wilson and his partner, David, have known each-other for 17 years.

“The fact of my partner and I being able to get married and other couples in Kansas that are going to be able to get married and have that equality.”

The ruling on same-sex marriage in Kansas hasn’t be completely cut and dry. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied all efforts by the State of Kansas to further delay the Kansas Federal Courts from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

KSN’s legal analyst Dan Monnat on Wednesday pointed out that the State of Kansas appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will still go ahead, on the merits on whether or not the Kansas constitution and law prohibiting gay marriage are unconstitutional.

As for Wilson, he stressed how important it is to him to finally be able to marry his long-time partner.

“I feel like this is going to complete our life in a way it hasn’t been completed before and I think since we’ll have these same rights than it makes my life complete,” said Wilson.

Many same-sex couples are jumping at the chance to get married. There is a mass wedding ceremony set to be held here at the Sedgwick County Courthouse Monday evening, where more than a dozen couples finally plan to say “I do”.

The Kansas State Supreme Court will have a hearing on Monday to determine if the Johnson County district judge who said same-sex marriages are legal and can move forward is in fact legitimate.

The topic of whether that makes same-sex marriage legal in every county in the state will be discussed as well.

KSNW TV – By Chris Arnold

WICHITA, Kan. – Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered attorneys Dan Monnat and Sal Intagliata have been honored among the region’s most distinguished criminal defense attorneys by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers 2014. For the tenth consecutive year, Monnat also was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas. Only 5 percent of all attorneys are included in the Super Lawyers list, making selection to the Top 100 the most elite of this exclusive legal group.

Dan Monnat has practiced in Wichita for more than 37 years. A graduate of California State University, Monnat holds a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University School of Law and is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College.

Monnat currently sits on the Kansas Association for Justice’ Board of Editors and is the Criminal Law Chair.  He has also been designated a Fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Litigation Counsel of America, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. He is a Life Member and past Board Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and is a two-term past president of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Sal Intagliata joined the firm in 2010 after a distinguished career in private practice and four years as Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney, where he prosecuted criminals in the Gangs/Violent Crimes Division. His practice focuses on criminal, white-collar criminal and DUI offenses and appeals in federal, state and municipal courts throughout Kansas.

Intagliata serves on the Kansas Judicial Council Criminal Law Subcommittee and the Board of Governors of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a past vice president of the Wichita Bar Association and past member of its Board of Governors.

He earned his bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the University of Kansas, graduating with dual majors in political science and Spanish. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law. He also is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College.

Dan Monnat
Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered
200 W. Douglas, Suite 830
Wichita, KS   67202

WICHITA, Kan. – “Best Law Firms” – a national ranking produced jointly by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers – has named Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered among the Best Law Firms in the Wichita metropolitan region in two distinct categories:

  • Appellate Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar

The rankings are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms.

“Best Law Firms” is one of U.S. News & World Report’s series of consumer guides.  The magazine teams with Best Lawyers, the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession, to rank each practice area by geographic region.  In surveys, law firm clients and leading lawyers were asked what factors they considered vital for clients who hire firms, and for lawyers who choose firms to refer legal matters to.

Monnat & Spurrier was founded in 1985 by defense attorney Dan Monnat and legal scholar Stan Spurrier.  The firm has five lawyers and has gained an international reputation through its defense of such high-profile clients as late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the Garden Plain football coach, Todd Puetz, and the unfortunate person whose home was mistakenly raided by police as being that of serial killer BTK.

In addition to Monnat and Spurrier, the firm includes two former prosecutors and a former public defender, all noted for their work in criminal courts:  Trevor Riddle, Sal Intagliata, and Robb Hunter.

Dan Monnat
Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered
200 W. Douglas, Suite 830
Wichita, KS  67202

WASHINGTON and WICHITA, Kansas (AP/KSN) — The U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday that same-sex marriages can go ahead in Kansas.

The nation’s highest court denied the state’s request to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying while Kansas fights the issue in court. The state constitution includes a provision banning gay marriage, approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2005.

“So excited, still kind of an ohmigosh, it really happened, kind of day,” Donna DiTrani, one of the plaintiffs who filed the suit, said. “[I] didn’t ever know it would happen, just thought it would keep getting dragged on.”

“This might seem fast and quick for so many people for the last few weeks but the fact of the matter is a lot of people have been working on equality in Kansas for years,” Kerry Wilks, her partner and one of the other plaintiffs, added.

However, Kansas’ emergency appeal was closely watched to see if the court would change its practice following last week’s appellate ruling upholding anti-gay marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Those cases now are headed to the Supreme Court, and the gay marriage issue nationwide could be heard and decided by late June.

The Supreme Court last month declined to hear cases from three appeals courts that had overturned gay marriage bans. Kansas, South Carolina and Montana all have refused to allow gay couples to obtain marriages licenses despite rulings from federal appeals courts that oversee them.

Kansas went to the Supreme Court after the American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of two female same-sex couples. A judge issued an injunction barring the state from enforcing its gay-marriage ban, but the case hasn’t yet gone to trial.

The ACLU says Kansas’ ban violates the couples’ constitutionally protected rights to due legal process and equal legal protection. Gay-rights advocates saw the Supreme Court’s action Wednesday as another sign they’re likely to ultimately prevail.

“Now, this is a day to celebrate,” said Tom Witt, executive director of the gay rights group Equality Kansas.

Still, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt maintains the ruling applies only in Douglas and Sedgwick counties, because the ACLU’s lawsuit was prompted by judges’ orders there.

Legal analysts say it is important to note that the 7-2 ruling only overrules the stay on the federal court injunction blocking the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, while the case is awaiting hearing in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

“But while that decision proceeds, Kansas authorities must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” legal analyst Dan Monnat said.

The ACLU contends the decision applies in all 105 counties, but attorney Doug Bonney acknowledged some court clerks could resist.

A federal district judge last week blocked the state from enforcing its ban, saying it was in keeping with an earlier ruling by a federal appeals court that struck down bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

The judge’s ruling was supposed to go into effect Tuesday, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily put it on hold while the high court reviewed the case.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have sided with the state.

The legal situation was complicated in Kansas because state Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed his own case with the Kansas Supreme Court, seeking to block marriage licenses for gay couples. The Kansas court blocked further licenses while it reviewed the case and its order is still in effect, making it unclear how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday will be applied in individual counties.

However, that proceeding would also be stayed pending action by the 10th Circuit, Monnat told KSN.

Schmidt’s case came after one county — prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court action last month — issued a license to a lesbian couple. The couple quickly wed, becoming the only known same-sex Kansas couple to do so.

Marriage licenses in Kansas are issued by district court clerks’ offices after a mandatory three-day wait.

Schmidt has promised to defend the state’s gay-marriage ban in court as long as he can, and fellow Republican Gov. Sam Brownback issued a statement suggesting he’s not giving up on defending the policy. Voters in 2005 overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Kansas Constitution against same-sex marriage.

“I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Kansas,” Brownback said in a statement. “I will review this ruling with the attorney general and see how best we continue those efforts.”

Gay marriage is legal in 32 other states. In Missouri, a federal judge in Kansas City and a state judge in St. Louis each declared its ban unconstitutional, and gay-rights advocates urged the state’s attorney general not to appeal.

The Supreme Court on Oct. 6 refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans following adverse federal appeals court rulings. The states included Virginia, under the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with South Carolina, and Oklahoma and Utah, which are with Kansas in the 10th Circuit.

Wednesday’s two-sentence order noted conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would allow Kansas to continue enforcing its gay-marriage ban.

WICHITA, Kansas — As the debate over same-sex marriage continues in Kansas, the courtroom drama is getting more complicated with every filing.

October 10th was when things quickly got complicated for Kansas couples and courts, concerning gay marriage.

Fast forward almost one month, and the legal fight shows no promise of ending anytime soon.

Wichita couple Kerry Wilks and Donna Ditrani have been together for five years. Although in June 2012, they had a commitment ceremony, they want to be legally married in Kansas. That is why they’re fighting for same-sex marriage rights at the federal court level.

On Tuesday, a Federal Judge found that:

“defendants may not refuse to issue marriage licenses on the basis that applicants are members of the same sex.”– Marie v. Moser

The decision, beginning November 11th, could prevent the state from enforcing its same-sex marriage ban.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Wednesday appealed that ruling.

Immediately following the announcement Tuesday, however, Derek Schmidt released the following statement related to the federal district court’s decision:

“The State of Kansas continues to have a strong interest in the orderly and final determination of the constitutionality of its prohibitions on same-sex marriage.  The state defendants will promptly appeal this decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and will ask for consideration by the full Circuit Court.  Such a request for en banc consideration was not previously made by either Utah or Oklahoma when their cases were heard by a three-judge panel of the appellate court.”

“The District Court recognized the weight of its decision to declare a provision of the Kansas Constitution in violation of the United States Constitution and thus unenforceable.  Kansas appreciates Judge Crabtree’s willingness to delay his order while the state defendants file their appeal.”

In a separate case, the Kansas State Supreme Court said Wednesday it will also delay a hearing originally scheduled for Thursday, November 6.

The state filed the action against Kansas 10th Judicial District Judge, Chief Judge Kevin P. Moriarty, when last month he granted a same-sex marriage license to a Johnson Co. couple, pointing to recent cases in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah that found gay marriage bans unconstitutional.

“It applies to the Kansas law the rulings of the 10th circuit on the Utah and Oklahoma laws because the Kansas law is virtually identical,” said legal analyst, Dan Monnat.

For a brief moment, the first-ever marriage between two women in the state of Kansas, was legal. That’s when Kansas’ high court temporarily blocked all new same-sex marriage licenses from being issued.

The hearing set for November 6th was delayed until the 15th. The 15th is the new deadline for both parties to present their case.

Read the latest filing from the State Attorney General’s office by clicking here.

Also on Wednesday, Missouri struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

KSNW TV – By Brittany Glas