Jury acquits man accused of stealing equipment from KU animal lab

Malott Hall, 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, on the KU campus.

A jury has acquitted a Lawrence man accused of stealing thousands of dollars of equipment from an animal lab at the University of Kansas.

A jury trial for Matthew C. Reynard, 37, took place Wednesday and Thursday in Douglas County District Court. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on Thursday, according to the district attorney’s office.

Reynard had been charged in July with one count of burglary and two counts of theft, all felonies.

He was accused of taking a veterinary camera, a camera control unit, syringes and hypodermic needles belonging to KU from Malott Hall on June 24, according to the charges. He also was accused of stealing a checkbook and earbuds from a man listed in the KU directory as a technician in the university’s Animal Care Unit.

Matthew C. Reynard

The incident was reported to KU police on June 29. Following the report KU police told the Journal-World that an unknown suspect entered a secure area of the building on June 24 and took both equipment and personal property from a lab. According to police, the loss was valued at $13,000.

KU’s Animal Care Unit is responsible for care of all teaching and research animals on the Lawrence campus, according to the university website. At the time he was charged, Reynard was not listed as a KU student or employee, according to the KU directory.

Reynard’s appointed attorney, Hatem Chahine, did not immediately respond Monday afternoon to a request for comment from the Journal-World.

Reynard was on probation for a past felony conviction at the time the KU theft occurred, according to court documents previously filed by Chahine. According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Reynard has multiple theft, drug and other convictions in Douglas County dating to 2003.

Reynard had been jailed on $30,000 bond, according to court records. He was released from the Douglas County Jail on Thursday, according to Sgt. Kristen Channel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.