A Kansas City man who had been wanted regarding two separate homicides and was arrested Saturday night has been charged in both cases.
Jerome “Rome” Roberson, 31, was arrested after police received an anonymous tip about his whereabouts, according to court documents. He had been wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of 29-year-old Brandan Brown, Oct. 28 in Independence, and Michael Cantwell, Nov. 2 in Kansas City. Jackson County prosecutors have charged Roberson with two counts each of second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Roberson allegedly shot Brown multiple times following a disturbance outside a residence in the trailer park in the 12800 block of East 47th Street in Independence.
According to court documents, two witnesses saw Roberson shoot Brown, who reportedly did maintenance work at the trailer park. A woman whose granddaughter had a previous association with Roberson said she and Brown told Roberson to leave when he arrived at the trailer. After Roberson started to walk away, she said, she saw him “run up” and shoot Brown multiple times before fleeing in a red Chevrolet Camaro.
A woman who was present but didn't witness the shooting said she had received drugs from “Rome” in the past. She allowed police to search her phone, and they found she had sent Roberson a message less than an hour before the shooting, telling him not to come over because “My grandma is here.”
A second witness, a man, said the grandmother told Roberson it was not a good time to see the young woman, but Roberson said he didn't care and was going to talk with her anyways. When the grandmother and Brown told Roberson to leave, the witness said, Roberson saw Brown had a handgun holstered. Roberson told Brown to take his hand off his gun then pulled out his own gun from his pocket.
Roberson appeared to leave when the grandmother got on her phone to presumably call police and was still holding his gun, the witness said, and Brown followed with his gun pointed down. The witness said he believed Brown wanted to make sure Roberson was leaving. Roberson then turned around and started shooting in Brown's direction, possibly just to scare them, then continued shooting when Brown moved into a different position and hit Brown.
The Camaro that Roberson fled in had been reported stolen out of Independence the day before the shooting, according the court documents. The day after the shooting, a Sugar Creek resident reported her vehicle, a PT Cruiser, stolen and said her daughter had made statements that she planned to travel to Texas with Roberson.
Kansas City shooting
On Nov. 2, Roberson allegedly shot Cantwell while Cantwell was in a vehicle parked at the 2500 block of Quincy Avenue. One witness heard gunshots, went outside and said Roberson suggested taking Cantwell's truck before running away. A second witness, who was going to leave the residence with Cantwell, said she saw Roberson fire multiple shots toward Cantwell's vehicle, then ran to the vehicle and saw Cantwell had been shot in the head.
Police learned that prior to the homicides Roberson had multiple arrest warrants – for a rape charge in Jackson County, robbery and failure to appear in Jackson County and tampering with a motor vehicle and failure to appear in Clay County. When arrested, Roberson declined to talk to police without an attorney.
Prosecutors requested bonds of $500,000 cash for each murder charge.