Murder trial to start Tuesday
Trial for a man charged with murdering a Wichita woman in 2020 is scheduled to begin Tuesday and last nine days.
Robert B. Mans, 50, is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Shalan Niccole Gannon, 27, who was reported missing in Wichita two months before her body was discovered June 7, 2020, inside a black box in the Nennescah River.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in court, Mans met Gannon when both lived at Liberty Way, a sober living community in Wichita. They said they wanted to move in together but instead moved out of the complex April 8, 2020.
Gannon’s cell phone was last used April 8, 2020. Mans’ phone was used the following day from an area around 1941 Narrow Rd. in Canada. That is the address of Mans’ stepbrother, Jason Kirkby, and stepfather, Michael Kirkby.
Authorities searched the property five days after Gannon’s body was found. Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents found what appeared to be blood stains and a clump of human hair.
Mans was arrested and charged with murder six months later.
Michael and Jason Kirkby were charged with obstructing apprehension or arrest, interference with law enforcement, and criminal desecration of a body. Criminal desecration of a body is a misdemeanor.
The Kirkbys both made agreements with prosecutors that they would testify against Mans in return for charges of obstructing apprehension or arrest and interference with law enforcement being dropped after testifying. Michael Kirkby died before Mans’ trial.
According to documents filed by Mans’ lawyer, David Harger, Mans’ defense will be “he didn’t do it; someone else did.”
According to Kansas Department of Corrections records, Mans was sentenced March 19, 1992, in Sedgwick County District court for two counts of burglary and for single counts of aggravated robbery and theft. He later was sentenced June 17, 2010, for theft.
Mans was paroled to Marion County in 2004 but returned to prison a year later because of a parole violation. He was paroled to Marion County again in 2009 and went back to prison 1½ years later because of a parole violation.
KDOC records also show that Gannon was sentenced Nov. 1, 2019, for aggravated battery with a weapon, criminal damage to property, and violation of a protective order. She apparently was sentenced to probation.
The list of people approved to be called to testify includes Therese Allen, A. Alumbaugh, Richard Baker, Linda Barnhart, Chad Blackwell, Vikki Buell, Fred Corley, Jordan Douglas, Darrell Dutcher, Lowell Ester, Sharon Ethridge, Sheila Forshee, Fred Heersche, Sabrina Gentile.
Also, Timothy Gorill, Jeremy Henrich, Hron Juarez, Trent Julius, Thomas Kendra, Derek King, Jason Kirkby, Sally Jo Kisner, Holly Latham, James Lane, Robin Lassiter, Genevieve Lattin, Holly Latham, Todd Leeds, Gabrielle Martin, Tausha Medlin, Michael Meridith, Robert Moore.
Also, Robin Moore, Joshua Morey, Jordan Moss, Josh Nelson, Brittany Nordstedt, Kenny Norton, Kei Osawa, Jerry O’Neal, Joan Patterson, Phil Richardson, Nick Ryan, Annie Scott, Linda Sifford, Greg Skelton, Jena Sparling, Rich Storts, Michael Stultz, Pete Swart, Alyssa Tucker, Joshua Walker, Jeffrey Walcher, Zach Warner, Terri West, and Samuel Wylie.