Marcas McGowan, suspect in shooting death of 5-year-old Cady Harris, faces murder, kidnapping charge

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens recommended charges at a news conference on Monday.

The suspect, Marcus McGowan, is under arrest following a Friday evening police chase and the death of 5-year-old Cady Harris .

Chief Kitchens recommended the following charges:

  • 1st degree felony murder
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated endangering a child
  • Aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer
  • Felony fleeing and eluding
  • Criminal possession of a firearm

They have not filed the six charges which include murder in the first degree and kidnapping Cady Harris.

Harris was abducted from an unknown area early Friday evening. Police chased the subject beginning in Atchison County, Kan., before briefly crossing into Missouri, then back across the state line and ending in a construction zone at about 7:15 p.m. in Leavenworth.

Once the chase ended, Kitchens said the suspect exchanged gunfire with police. The suspect was struck and wounded. Authorities said bullets fired by police didn’t hit the suspect’s car or kill Cady. 

"He loved her, he never hurt her, he just got off on hurting me," Christina Harris, Cady's mother, said.

Harris describes her 5-year relationship with McGowen as an abusive one.

"It was scary, it was hell," she said.

She had argued with McGowen moments before he took off with Cady on a ride that ended in a police chase, shootout and Cady's death.

HISTORY OF MCGOWAN AND CHRISTIE HARRIS

Court records 41 Action News obtained show evidence of an abusive relationship between McGowan and Harris, extending back to 2012.

Platte County prosecutors charged McGowan with two counts of violating a protection order in 2012. Authorities issued a warrant with a $5,000 bond, but records show McGowan was never arrested for that case.

According to court documents, McGowan received the protection order in October 2012, which prohibited any communication with Harris. However, over the next 24 hours, Harris allegedly received 27 telephone calls and more than 50 text messages from McGowan.

“I believe the defendant is a continuing threat to the victim as he violated the court order within minutes of being served,” the Platte County deputy wrote.

A few days later, the telephone calls and text messages persisted. A deputy said Harris even received messages while he was on the scene taking a statement from her. One text said, “C u outside with police,” and another read, “They can’t watch u 24/7 we will talk.”

The deputy said he believed McGowan posed a danger to Harris.

“He has been violent with her in the past by assaulting her, assaulting law enforcement in Kansas, and has discharged a firearm at her,” the deputy reported. 

WHAT'S NEXT

"This was a very complex situation that involved multiple jurisdictions, multiple states," Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said. "We preferred to take our time and be absolutely sure that we got it right."

Kitchens said McGowen is currently recovering at a Kansas City hospital for injuries sustained in his shootout with police. 

He said as soon as McGowen is released he will be transported to the Leavenworth County Jail.

Police haven't said exactly how Cady died. This is perhaps the biggest question on Harris's mind days after her daughters death.

Shortly after police presented the charges, Harris gave a message for other women, who like her, had trouble getting out of an abusive relationship.

 

"They're never going to change, do not go back, it will get worse," she said. 

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