Wichita man sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for 2020 death of woman


Second defendant pleads guilty to related charges

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MARION – (May 24, 2022) – A Wichita man has been sentenced to more than 22 years in prison in connection with the disappearance and death of a Sedgwick County woman in April 2020, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Robert Bruce Mans Jr., 50, of Wichita, was sentenced yesterday in Marion County District Court to 228 months in a Kansas Department of Corrections facility on one count of voluntary manslaughter and 43 months for one count of aggravated battery. Senior Judge Mark S. Braun sentenced Mans to serve the sentences consecutively, and required him to register as a violent offender. Mans pleaded guilty to the charges on April 18.

Mans was convicted of the charges in connection with the death of Shalan Niccole Gannon, 27, of Wichita. Authorities allege Gannon was killed on or about April 8, 2020. She was reported missing on April 11, and her body was found in June 2020 in the Ninnescah River in rural Sumner County. Mans was formally charged in October 2020.

A second defendant associated with the case, Jack Kirkby, 39, of Wichita, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of criminal desecration and was sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation.

The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Wichita Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion Police Department, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme, of Schmidt’s office, and Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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