• Last modified 1058 days ago (Nov. 5, 2020)


Suspect accused of murdering woman in county in April

Staff writer

More than four months after a 27-year-old woman was found dead in a river in Sumner County, a 48-year-old man was arrested Thursday and charged with having murdered her two months earlier in Marion County.

Robert Bruce Mans Jr. was booked into Marion County Jail late Thursday morning. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Jail records initially listed his address as Marion, but a news release from the state attorney general’s office lists him as a Wichita resident and jail records later were adjusted to match. Mans formally was charged in District Court with murder in the first degree in connection with the death of Shalan Niccole Gannon, 27, Wichita.

Her body was discovered June 7 in the Ninnescah River in the northeastern part of Sumner County. According to a criminal complaint, Mans killed her April 8 in Marion County. The charge was designated as a crime of domestic violence.

Gannon was reported missing to Wichita police April 10. On June 12, the same day Gannon’s body was identified, two Kansas Bureau of Investigation teams searched a residence on Narrow Rd. near Canada in Marion County.

Officials were tight-lipped about the search at that time.

Judge Michael Powers appointed McPherson lawyer David N. Harger to represent Mans. Preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 18.

An online search shows Mans formerly lived at the address searched by KBI.

According to Kansas Department of Corrections records, Mans was sentenced March 19, 1992, in Sedgwick County District court for two counts of burglary, aggravated robbery, and theft. He was later 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 a year and a half 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 was apparently sentenced to probation.

Appraiser’s records show the Canada property is owned by Michael L. and Jason Michael Kirkby. The Kirkbys were delinquent on property taxes from 2016 through 2019, but the 2019 property tax of $467.48 has been paid, the treasurer’s office said. Taxes for 2016 through 2018 remain delinquent.

KDOC records show Michael L. Kirkby, 60, was sentenced Aug. 15, 1991, for a drug conviction. He spent three months in prison before being put on probation.

Jason Kirkby, 38, spent July 27 to 29 in the Sedgwick County jail on a municipal court sentence for a traffic conviction.

Before that, he was sentenced to community corrections Dec. 3, 2018, for possession of drugs, and has a lengthy list of prior convictions for burglary and theft spanning from 2008 to 2016.

Last modified Nov. 5, 2020