Leftwich Case Brings Private Offender Registry To Light

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A prior conviction of the man charged in the fatal hit and run of a recent Seaman High School graduate is drawing attention to the state's offender registration laws.

The Topeka-Capital Journal reported that 20-year old Dustin Leftwich was convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a 13-year old child for an incident when he was 17-years old.

He's currently charged with first degree murder and kidnapping for the May 25th death of 18-year old Brenna Morgart.

The prior conviction had some asking why Leftwich's prior conviction wouldn't have him appearing on the public sex offender registry.

KBI Deputy Director Kyle Smith tells 13 news there is an offender registry that is available only to law enforcement. Most of those are from juvenile cases, where it is left to the judge's discretion whether an offender's registration should be made public or whether the offender should be required to register at all. He did not comment specifically on Leftwich's situation.

KBI figures show the state currently has 6418 registered sex offenders. Of those, 896 are on the private registry. Also, more than half of the registered drug offenders are on the private list - 1811 are private while 1153 are public. The state also has 1204 registered violent offenders, 51 of which are kept private. The violent crimes could include offenses such as murder, criminal restraint or incidents where a deadly weapon was used.

Smith says the different registries are a policy decision of the legislature. However, he says the private list still has a deterrent value for law enforcement, since offenders know authorities have their information and can pinpoint them in the course of investigations.

Leftwich is being held on $1 million bond in the Morgart case. His preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 29, 2012.