Man sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison in domestic violence case; victim says, ‘Without him, I feel I can finally live my best life’
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
A Topeka man was sentenced on Monday in Douglas County District Court to nearly 4 years in prison after accepting a plea deal that resolved four cases in which he was accused of kidnapping a woman twice, choking her and threatening her with a kitchen knife.
Chance Andrew Kenney, 26, pleaded no contest to one felony count of aggravated domestic battery, one felony count of aggravated intimidation of a witness and one felony count of criminal threat in connection with an incident on May 30, 2021, according to charging documents. The Journal-World in early December requested the arrest affidavits in Kenney’s various cases, but the court has not responded to those requests.
Kenney’s 2021 arrests began on March 15, when he was charged with one felony count of aggravated domestic battery by choking a woman he was in a relationship with and one misdemeanor count of criminal restraint. He was released on a $7,000 own-recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to put up any money to be released after his arrest. He was assigned a GPS tracking device that would alert the court if he returned to the location where the incident occurred.
On May 30, Kenney was charged with one felony count of aggravated kidnapping, one felony count of aggravated domestic battery by choking the same woman, one felony count of criminal threat and one misdemeanor count of intimidation of a witness.
The jail booking log lists Kenney’s arrest in that incident as occurring at mile marker 204 on Interstate-70, by Lawrence police. The aggravated kidnapping charge is a level-one felony, the highest level felony listed on the Kansas sentencing guidelines.
Kenney was released on a $40,000 surety bond a few days later, and by June 11, Kenney reportedly violated a protection order against the woman again and was charged with a misdemeanor violation of a protection order. He was issued a summons to appear on Aug. 7, 2021. He appeared and was given a $1,000 own-recognizance bond for that misdemeanor charge.
Kenney was last charged on Oct. 16, 2021, when he faced one felony count of kidnapping the woman again, one felony count of aggravated intimidation of a witness, one felony count of aggravated assault by threatening the woman with a kitchen knife, one felony count of aggravated domestic battery by choking the woman, and one misdemeanor count of violating a protection order.
Kenney was extradited from Nodaway County in Missouri after he was arrested on a warrant for the October incident. He was then held on a $350,000 bond and has been in custody at the Douglas County Jail ever since.
At Kenney’s sentencing on Monday, Judge Merlin Wheeler asked Kenney’s defense attorney, Dakota Loomis, if Kenney had any special training or skills, to which Loomis said no but that he has some college experience; he said that Kenney hopes to take advantage of skills training classes in prison.
Kenney said at the hearing that he hopes to maybe learn a trade like welding that he can use upon his release.
Assistant District Attorney Christen Secrest read a letter from the victim at the hearing that said, “When I first met Chance I thought he was everything I wanted … I eventually realized he was much darker than I thought.”
The letter went on to say that by six months into the relationship Kenney had become controlling and would say and do things to damage the woman’s self-esteem. She wrote that since the relationship ended she had struggled to open up to new people but that now, a year without Kenney in her life, she felt she could finally move on.
“Without him, I feel I can finally live my best life,” she wrote.
Wheeler sentenced Kenney to 34 months on the aggravated intimidation of a witness charge, 12 months on the aggravated domestic battery charge and six months on the criminal threat charge with the intimidation and battery charges to run consecutively for a total of 46 months. Wheeler then awarded Kenney 435 days of time served, or just over 14 months.