Man who allegedly threatened mayor is sentenced for lesser crime

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A man who police alleged made threats against Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple has been sentenced to probation on a lesser charge.

The Wichita Police Department arrested Meredith Dowty in October 2020 after some text messages he sent to City Council Member James Clendenin, complaining about the City’s mask ordinance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clendenin contacted the police when he became concerned about the tone of some of the messages.

Police detailed the messages in a probable cause affidavit. Investigators alleged that Dowty wanted to kidnap and kill the mayor.

But Dowty’s attorney said it was a matter of free speech.

On Friday, Dowty pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct. As a result, a judge sentenced him to two years of probation. If he violates the probation, he will be sent to jail for 30 days.

The Sedgwick County district attorney’s office said the mayor was updated on the proceedings, “as is every victim in every criminal case.”

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