Office Overview

Victim/Witness Division

In both the adult and juvenile prosecution areas, the District Attorney's Office has qualified Victim/Witness Coordinators responsible for keeping crime victims and witnesses notified of the stages of court proceedings, and assisting victims with questions and concerns regarding their participation in the process. This unit also works with prosecutors and crime victims to determine restitution in appropriate circumstances, and to present this information to the court. Working with the Domestic Violence/Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office, the Victim/Witness Division provides specific services for victims of Domestic Violence, sexual assault and stalking. Victim/Witness Coordinators work with many community based organizations to provide resources and referrals for crime victims, survivors and witnesses. These organizations include the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center; Catholic Charities Harbor House, YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, Child Advocacy Center, FAST, DUI Victims Center of Kansas, and Kansas Crime Victim's Compensation Board.

Consumer Protection Division

The District Attorney’s Office maintains a specialized division for handling consumer complaints, questions, and concerns.  The division is comprised of attorneys as well as investigators who handle consumer complaints on a daily basis, investigating, mediating, and prosecuting violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.  Protecting Sedgwick County consumers from deceptive and or unconscionable acts and practices is a priority for this office.  The most common complaints received, but are not limited to, are automobile sales, services, and contractors for home improvement projects.

Trial Division

The assistant district attorneys in the trial division make up the largest group of prosecutors in the office and are assigned to the prosecution of adult offenders. These prosecutors are assigned to teams that have a range of responsibilities from general trial work to specialized areas of practice. Attorneys in the general trial and specialty units have advanced training and experience in specific areas, such as arson, elder abuse or accident reconstruction. The attorneys in the trial division are divided in the following units: General Trial, Economic Crime, Gang Unit, and DV/Sex Crimes Unit

General Trial Unit

There are two general trial teams in the office made up of attorneys who carry a wide variety of cases, including property crimes, drug crimes, some sex offenses, elder abuse, violent crimes including homicides and serious traffic offenses. These attorneys bring together a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, including those with fewer than five years of experience to those with more than 20 years of service in the district attorney’s office. The general trial teams are led by Chief Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Wilson and Robert Short.

Gang Unit

The attorneys prosecuting these cases have developed expertise in the handling of violent crimes and crimes involving gang members.  Chief Assistant District Attorney Mandee Schauf supervises the attorneys in the Gang and Violent Crime Unit.

DV/Sex Crimes Unit

The attorneys specializing in this area are responsible for the prosecution of cases in the following areas: Sex Offenses, Crimes Against Children, Domestic Violence, Aggravated Human Trafficking, Internet Pornography, Solicitation and Homicide cases that originate in these specific areas of crime. The unit, originally developed in 1977 by Nola Foulston who was then a prosecuting attorney, trains experienced staff to manage special victims and to gain proficiency in medical and psychological testimony inherent in these cases. The attorneys, supervised by Chief Assistant District Attorney Alice Osburn, work to ensure that all victims, especially children, are prepared for the challenges that face them in the criminal justice system.

Economic Crime Unit

This unit focuses on the types of crimes that affect more citizens than any other – property crimes. This would include car burglaries, business and home break-ins, vandalism, shoplifting, catalytic converter theft, auto theft, contractor fraud, financial elder abuse and embezzlement. The attorneys carry a high volume of cases and work closely with law enforcement to prosecute their cases. The unit also engages in public education efforts aimed at crime prevention. This unit is led by Chief Assistant District Attorney Avery Elofsson.

Juvenile Division

Housed in the Juvenile Justice Complex, this division of the office operates under the supervision of Deputy District Attorney Ron Paschal. The Juvenile Division is divided into two distinct areas of practice: the offender side, led by Chief Assistant District Attorney Donna Longworth,  that prosecutes offenders under the age of 18; and the Child in Need of Care Unit, led by Chief Assistant District Attorney Mark Jordan, that intervenes on behalf of the child in cases of abuse, neglect and sexual assault.

Attorneys and staff of the Juvenile Division devote time and attention to prevention and intervention measures. One such program, the District Attorneys' Juvenile Intervention Program, accepts first-time offenders in non-violent crimes and refers selected individuals to community-based organizations who operate as resource referrals to work with juveniles on prevention issues.

Appellate Division

This unit, supervised by Chief Assistant District Attorney Boyd Isherwood, is responsible for all of the appeals of criminal and certain civil cases that originate in this jurisdiction including independent civil actions challenging convictions in the District Court. Appellate cases are argued primarily before the two highest courts of this state; the Kansas Court of Appeals and the Kansas Supreme Court.

Traffic Division

In the traffic section of the office, attorneys prosecute violations of the traffic code that occur in Sedgwick County, including those cases initiated by the Kansas Highway Patrol as well as the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office. (City traffic violations are handled in the Municipal Courts).  Traffic handles DUI cases, suspended license cases, habitual violator cases and other traffic infractions. This division also prosecutes Fish and Game Violations in this jurisdiction. A companion program within this unit is the Traffic Diversion Program where drivers who have a reasonably clean driving record are accepted for a deferred prosecution program on certain traffic infractions. If the individual successfully completes the program and remains ticket-free for the specified time period, the original ticket will not affect the person's driving record.