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Affidavit: Evidence, witnesses connect man with uncle’s deadly stabbing

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s have arrested and booked Douglass McGathy, 32, into jail for...
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s have arrested and booked Douglass McGathy, 32, into jail for second-degree murder.(Sedgwick County Jail)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:08 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Anger over a gun sale led to a violent scene in Derby, ending with the arrest of one man and the death of another. An unsealed affidavit in Sedgwick County District Court goes through the events of Aug. 30 that led to the arrest of 32-year-old Douglass McGathy and the death of his uncle, 48-year-old Kelly Ralph.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office arrested McGathy and booked him on charges that include second-degree murder, domestic battery and criminal damage to property. Booking details from the sheriff’s office show that McGathy remains in the county jail on a $250,000 bond.

On Aug. 30, two Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 5600 block of South 143rd, in Derby, for an unknown call for EMS.

“The calling party stated someone was bleeding from all over and she was unable to say what happened,” the affidavit said.

Deputies learned a fight occurred between McGathy and Ralph and that emergency call was a stabbing. At about 9:45 p.m., deputies arrived on the scene where one of them reported hearing what sounded like several people yelling near a home. The deputy ordered everyone to lay down on the ground, the affidavit said.

The deputies say Ralph injured, laying on the ground next to a pickup truck. One deputy reported that McGathy wouldn’t comply with their orders to remain on the ground and kept trying to get up. The deputy said he had to physically put McGathy on the ground and handcuffed him, the affidavit explained. The deputy saw blood on McGathy’s hand and leg.

Th affidavit said McGathy told deputies to save his uncle. An ambulance took Ralph to a Wichita hospital where he died from his injuries, multiple stab wounds.

A witness account in the affidavit said McGathy had been drinking and became angry concerning the sale of a handgun. The witness reported McGathy damaging property and his uncle, Ralph, being called to help calm McGathy down.

A witness reported seeing McGathy and Ralph meet up in the driveway next to Ralph’s truck.

“(The witness) said she decided to record the interaction with her cellphone because McGathy had stabbed (Ralph) in the arm in the past and she wanted a recording if something like that happened again,” the affidavit said.

A witness said she heard a struggle and what sounded like a fight, then heard someone fall to the ground. The witness said she couldn’t see who fell to the ground because it was dark but heard McGathy yell for Ralph to get up and asked what was wrong.

A detective conducted an interview with one of the homeowners at the scene who explained that her son, McGathy, had been drinking and fighting before Ralph arrived.

Preliminary findings from an autopsy said Ralph suffered stab wounds to the trunk, which included injuries to the left kidney, renal artery, aorta, left lung, liver, stomach and colon.

In a search warrant for the Derby residence in the 5600 block of South 143rd East, a silver, fixed blade knife with a black handle was located on the roof of the home where, the affidavit said, “McGathy has been known to throw things to hide the from law enforcement in the past.” The affidavit said the knife blade appeared to have blood on it.”

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