Kansas prisoner alleges he is being denied cancer treatment

January 5, 2023 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man who claims he was framed for a 2002 murder alleges in a federal lawsuit that the Kansas Department of Corrections is not providing proper medical treatment for his terminal cancer.

Lawyers for John Keith Calvin, 56, said in an emergency filing last week that the corrections department refuses to give Calvin intravenous nourishment he needs while he fights stage 4 colon cancer, The Kansas City Star reported Thursday.

The lawsuit asks a judge to require the corrections department to send Calvin to a hospital that can provide necessary care. His attorneys say he has lost 70 pounds in the past three months and will “quickly die” without court intervention. Calvin is eligible for parole in May.

The Department of Corrections did not immediately return messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Calvin was moved in November to a medical center in Wichita after he had blood in his stool and serious abdominal pain. Doctors planned to perform surgery but did not do so after realizing Calvin was “too full of cancer,” and he was discharged without further treatment.


Calvin was hospitalized again in December after a tube that collects urine detached, causing it to drain into his body.

During both hospitalizations, corrections officials refused to tell his lawyers and family where he was being treated, according to the lawsuit.

“The KDOC’s active hiding of Mr. Calvin, and the KDOC’s refusal to allow his attorneys to speak with him, is interfering with their efforts to adequately and effectively advocate on his behalf,” his lawyers wrote.

Calvin was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in the Dec. 12, 2002, killing of John Coates in Kansas City, Kansas.

Calvin’s co-defendant, Melvin Lee White Jr., who took a plea deal and served a five-year sentence, testified that he killed Coates himself. He said Calvin was with him at the time but didn’t know White planned to kill Coates, according to court records.

Calvin’s attorneys also allege that he was framed by former detective Roger Golubski, who has been accused by federal prosecutors and civil rights groups of framing Black citizens and sexually harassing Black women and girls for years in Kansas City, Kansas.


Golubski currently is on house arrest after being indicted in September on federal civil rights charges accusing him of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman and a teenager between 1998 and 2002. He was also indicted in November on charges alleging he was part of a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls at a Kansas City, Kansas, apartment complex between 1996 and 1998.

Golubski has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Calvin is represented by lawyers who have sought investigations of Golubski or advocated for his other alleged victims.

After more then 19 years in prison, his daughters Kiardra Calvin and Jalisa Bluford told the Star they hope he can be moved to a facility in time to see his family, including grandchildren he has not met.

“We’re all walking on eggshells on a day to day basis,” Bluford said. “We don’t know how long he has to live. We just put it in God’s hands.”