Kansas Prosecutor Surrenders Law License Amidst Framing Innocent Man Controversy

Terra Morehead-Lamonte McIntyre

Terra Morehead, a former Kansas prosecutor under intense scrutiny for her role in framing an innocent man, has agreed to surrender her law license as part of a disciplinary agreement with the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys.

Morehead’s actions, which contributed to the wrongful imprisonment of Lamonte McIntyre for 23 years, have prompted calls for accountability within the criminal justice system.

Having retired from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas last August, Morehead’s agreement to relinquish her law license precedes an anticipated disbarment from the Kansas Supreme Court, according to reports.

The decision comes amidst ongoing investigations into her conduct, including a federal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice, the outcome of which remains undisclosed.

Morehead’s involvement in the exoneration of Lamonte McIntyre shed light on her dubious legal practices.

McIntyre, who spent over two decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit, was freed in 2017 following the intervention of Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree. McIntyre’s case underscored glaring deficiencies in the justice system, with Morehead’s conduct coming under particular scrutiny.

During McIntyre’s trial, Morehead relied on testimony from a witness, Niko Quinn, who later recanted, alleging coercion by Morehead herself.

Furthermore, it emerged that Morehead failed to disclose a past romantic relationship with the presiding judge, raising concerns about impartiality and ethical breaches.

Quinn, echoing the sentiments of many affected by Morehead’s actions, expressed relief at the steps being taken to address systemic issues in the criminal justice system.

She highlighted the toll inflicted upon the Black community and indicated that Morehead’s conduct may be included in ongoing legal proceedings.

Despite requests for comment, Morehead’s attorney remained silent on the matter.

Morehead’s checkered career extends beyond her involvement in McIntyre’s case. Her tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office was marked by alleged ethical breaches, leading to her removal from criminal cases in 2021.

In a notable rebuke, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson criticized Morehead’s interference with a defendant’s right to a fair trial, underscoring the gravity of her transgressions.

The Kansas Supreme Court’s impending disbarment of Morehead reflects a significant step towards accountability and underscores the imperative for ethical conduct within the legal profession.