Case of 5-year-old Kansas girl's shooting death during police chase moved to federal court

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LEAVENWORTH, Kansas — A man charged with killing a 5-year-old Kansas girl during a police chase will be tried in federal court.

Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that a state charge of first-degree felony murder against Marcas McGowan of Atchison will be dismissed to pursue kidnapping and weapons-related indictments returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury.

Prosecutors allege McGowan kidnapped Cadence Harris from an Atchison home they shared with the girl's mother in July 2014. A police chase went into Missouri before ending near Leavenworth when McGowan exchanged gunfire with officers. Cadence was found dead inside the car. Court documents allege McGowan shot the girl.

A state felony murder conviction could allow a life sentence with parole eligibility after 25 years, while a federal kidnapping conviction could bring life with no possibility of parole.

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