A Wichita man who was arrested on charges that he fired a shot that grazed a man in the head sent letters to at least three potential witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie on the witness stand, a Sedgwick County jury was told Tuesday.
Sean Windsor, 32, is standing trial this week on 16 charges including one count of conspiracy to commit perjury and three counts of solicitation to commit perjury. He is also facing a variety of drug and firearms charges.
The bulk of the charges stem from a March 24, 2010, shooting that occurred outside a home in the 1300 block of South Glenn. Prosecutor Mike Jennings told the jury in his opening statement that Windsor and another man went to the home to pressure the occupant, Christy Domnick, not to tell police about a robbery that had occurred there a few weeks earlier.
During a confrontation outside the home, Jennings said, a man nicknamed “Shorty,” who was staying with Domnick to protect her, was grazed in the head by one of 13 shots fired from a .40-caliber handgun. The wounded man returned fire, Jennings said, but the two men escaped before police arrived.
A month later, Jennings said, Wichita police stopped a car Windsor was driving in the 100 block of North Topeka. A search of the car turned up drugs, drug paraphernalia and two guns, including the .40-caliber handgun that had fired the shots on South Glenn.
It was after Windsor was jailed, Jennings said, that he began sending letters to potential witnesses.
“Hey girl, how the hell are you. It’s been a while,” he wrote in a letter dated Oct. 17, 2011, to Domnick, the robbery victim. “The reason I’m writing is because they are obviously going to make you testify. I need you to say that after Shorty came back in the house … he said, ‘I drew down on some fools and they shot me.’ He pulled his (gun) first. … I just want both of your guys story to match up.”
Jennings said Windsor sent another letter on Nov. 3, 2011, to a Sedgwick County Jail inmate who was being housed at the Washington County Jail. Windsor said in that letter that he had to come up with an explanation for why his fingerprints were found on a clip in the .40-caliber handgun. He asked the inmate to tell investigators that Windsor was with a group of people smoking marijuana while another man was cleaning a gun. He told the inmate to say he saw Windsor pick up the clip and asked how many shells it contained. The letter asked the inmate to keep his story “simple and vague.”
“It was 18 months ago,” the letter said. “They can’t expect you to remember … details. Just say I can’t remember a lot.”
Defense lawyer Pam McLemore told the jury in her opening statement that lab investigators were unable to find Windsor’s fingerprints on any of the letters, and she said a handwriting expert was unable to identify Windsor as the person who wrote them.
“The scientists can’t say that it was Mr. Windsor, so I believe that you’re going to have to have a reasonable doubt,” she said.
The trial is being held in the courtroom of District Judge Terry Pullman.