TOPEKA (KSNT) – Since the start of 2023, there have been 7 killings in Topeka. Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay commented on this high number, saying he is saddened by the numerous incidents.

“I can’t recall a singular month during my time as a prosecutor, where we have had this many homicides,” said Kagay.

He emphasized that violence is never the answer, but believes there is, “no reason for the broader community to be concerned,” about the 2023 killings. These are isolated incidents where the parties know each other or are sometimes domestic in nature, according to Kagay.

Three out of the seven victims were children and Kagay discussed what sentencing would look like for those arrested in their respective cases. Kyle Tyler is accused of setting a home on fire, killing Genny Fitzpatrick and her two children Peyton and Kourtney. As well as the case of Dustin Kelley, who is accused of killing a 16-month-old boy.

“If somebody is going to abuse a child or harm a child in this community, they are going to be held accountable for it,” said Kagay.

Kagay said he plans on working closely with the Topeka Police Department to prevent and deter people from committing this violent crimes.

As well as speaking on violent crime starting 2023, Kagay spoke about recent developments with the Dana Chandler trial. The court granted a motion for the trial to take place in Pottawatomie County later on this year, as it was originally set to start this month.

The DA emphasized that when there was a motion made to change the venues from Shawnee County to Pottawatomie, his office opposed. It was in favor of the trial remaining in Shawnee County where the crime took place and where most of the jurors and witnesses are.

To close out his time on the 27 News morning show, Kagay said he plans on running for reelection in 2024 and beyond, plus detailing legislative priorities like the right to a speedy trial.