Homicides claimed the lives of 12 people in Independence in 2017, following back-to-back years of nine homicides. In addition, four other people died in officer-involved shootings, after which the officers were cleared. Nine of the 12 homicides have occurred since mid-August.
Blue Springs had three homicides. Authorities have filed charges in 10 cases combined from Independence and Blue Springs. As of Dec. 26 Kansas City had 149 homicides.
Here is a summary of the homicide victims in Independence and Blue Springs, listed in the order in which they died along with their ages:
• William Elliott (41), Jan. 16: Police found Elliott at the 1500 block of South Cedar Avenue, between Truman and Winner roads, after they were called in the afternoon for a shooting. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police identified at least one person of interest in the case, but no arrests or charges have been announced.
• Yadira Gomez (30), Jan. 30: Gomez allegedly was stabbed to death by her husband, Vicente Roldan-Marron, after he got drunk and they argued in their apartment. Roldan-Marron allegedly blacked out after the stabbing, woke up the next morning and took their young children to school. Two of them told teachers their father had killed their mother, and police later found Roldan-Marron lying on top of Gomez.
Roldan-Maron was charged with first-degree murder and is scheduled to go on trial April 23.
• Holly Barnett (57), May 16: Barnett allegedly was beaten to death in her Walnut Street home by 33-year-old Courtney Hackney, who told police Barnett was her aunt. A witness who lived with Barnett said she came home to a locked door and Hackney answered. After finding Barnett, the witness escaped Hackney's clutches and called police, who found Hackney in a nearby cemetery.
Another witness said Hackney had threatened him with a bat and then said she was going to a relative's house to “claim what is mine” and that she was a “demon” who wanted revenge on her enemies.
Hackney, who is charged with second-degree murder, awaits a Sept. 14 trial.
• Christopher King (33), Aug. 17: Police found King dead from a gunshot wound to the chest at the end of his driveway at the 1500 block of Pearl Street about 11 p.m. A Sugar Creek man, 51-old Patrick Barkwell, allegedly shot King after driving to King's residence to retrieve a neighbor's car that King had borrowed.
Barkwell confessed to police that he shot King and said “It's the biggest mistake I ever made,” and that “I didn't mean to kill him.” He said that after the shooting he drove north to a bridge and threw the gun into the Missouri River.
Barkwell is in jail on $200,000 bond, and his next court date is Jan. 29.
• Christopher Larabee (38), Aug. 25: Police found Larabee in the roadway of a northwest Independence neighborhood about 11 p.m., suffering from a single gunshot wound. Officers tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police arrested one suspect at the scene, but prosecutors did not file charges, citing evidence of self-defense.
• Eluid Lisboa (46), Sept. 26: Lisboa was shot multiple times after he tried to break up a fight between some teenagers and a resident outside Lisboa's Hawthorne Place apartment, according to court documents. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Another person, a female, also was injured in the shooting. Lisboa's son and the suspect exchanged gunfire as the suspect fled.
The suspect, 17-year-old Antonio Stocker, was located walking less than a block from police headquarters. Stocker told police he shot Lisboa because he was scared and other subjects had a gun, but he later said Lisboa did not have a gun.
Stocker has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. He has pleaded not guilty and is due again in court Jan. 11.
• Phillip Anderson (18), Sept. 29: Anderson was shot while he was a front-seat passenger in a car traveling on westbound Interstate 70 from Noland Road in Independence, the victim of retaliatory gunfire from a car that pulled up alongside Anderson's vehicle on the highway.
According to court documents, the driver of Anderson's vehicle said a man later identified as 26-year-old Michael Dumas of Pleasant Hill had been “mean mugging” them (giving them dirty looks) at a gas station near the highway. When Dumas and Anderson's vehicle pulled up next to each other on Noland, another passenger in Anderson's car, 18-year-old Donavan James of Kansas City, leaned out and fired several shots toward Dumas' car.
Dumas then decided to chase Anderson and James' vehicle onto I-70, pulled up alongside and fired multiple shots. Anderson's driver soon pulled into a nearby QuikTrip to seek help, but by then Anderson vehicle.
Dumas initially hid in the woods further west near I-70, got a ride to a house and later was taken to the hospital by Kansas City Police because he was a suicide risk. His vehicle at a gas station across the highway from where he hid.
Both Dumas and James were charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. James has a trial scheduled for April 16, 2018, while Dumas has a trial scheduled for January 2019.
• Brandan Brown (29), Oct. 28: Brown was shot following a disturbance outside a trailer park residence in southwest Independence, where Brown reportedly did maintenance work. Jerome Roberson, 31, of Kansas City allegedly shot Brown after arriving at the residence to meet a young woman, then being told to leave by the woman's grandmother.
Roberson faces two counts each of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, as he also is charged in a Nov. 2 in Kansas City. His bond is $500,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 18.
• William Domann (72), Oct. 30: Police found Domann shot to death in his home after concerned neighbors had called police because Domann's front door had been kicked in and he wasn't responding to verbal calls.
A trail of blood, footage from several surveillance videos and an interviews with two female friends of Domann's led police to pin the crime on two 32-year-olds from Kansas City, Kansas, Xavier Otero and Onelio Garcia, and 46-year-old Nathan Hendricks from Hermann, Missouri, ex-boyfriend of one of the female friends. The former two defendants were located a few days after the shooting, while Hendricks was found and arrested Nov. 20 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He was traveling with his ex-girlfriend.
According to court documents, Garcia and Hendricks arranged the break-in and recruited Otero, who got shot during a scuffle with Domann. All three defendants face charges of second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and armed criminal action charges.
• Bradley Sartain (18) and Ernesto Delahoz (20), Nov. 25: The two Independence men were found at a Hawthorne Place Apartments unit – one inside an apartment and the other outside – following a shooting that happened just after midnight. Neither victim resided at the apartment complex. Police questioned one individual who had been in custody, but no charges have been announced and the case remains under investigation.
• Teddis Burns-El, Dec. 28: Burns-El was shot in the middle of the night in the north-central Independence home of his fiancee. The man charged with first-degree murder, 26-year-old William M. Miller-Kirkland of Independence, is the son of the fiancee. Burns-El was shot with a pistol, and police recovered 14 shell casings at the scene. Miller-Kirkland fled, led police on a brief chase, then stopped and was ultimately subdued and arrested.
• Harvey Baldwin (77), June 30: Baldwin was found in a chest freezer in his home basement, allegedly beaten to death by his grandson Tyreik, who then fled his grandfather's truck and was located that night.
Baldwin had called police earlier in the afternoon following an argument with Tyreik and said his grandson was “time bomb” and ultimately would do something disastrous. Baldwin returned home after police said Tyreik wasn't there, but later in the afternoon Baldwin's son returned home, didn't find Harvey and became suspicious. Tyreik then attempted to attack him, but he evaded and was able to call police.
Tyreik fled before police arrived, and officers later found Harvey. Tyreik Baldwin is faces first-degree murder and other charges and is due next in court Jan. 26.
• Clinton Peckman, Nov. 9: Peckman was shot while in a work van parked outside a Blue Springs restaurant near Interstate 70. John Jeffries, 24, from Raytown, allegedly tried to carjack a vehicle outside another nearby restaurant and ultimately tried to flee the area on foot but was quickly found and arrested by police.
According to court documents, Peckman had been doing maintenance work at a nearby apartment complex. An Independence woman told police that Jeffries had damaged her car with gunshots that morning and was at a Blue Springs apartment complex. Police said they do not know when Peckman and Jeffries, who were strangers to each other, crossed paths
• Colby Stephenson (16), Dec. 18: Police responded to a call of shots fired at 1:50 a.m. in the 1700 block of Northwest Sixth Street. Stephenson, who did not reside in the neighborhood, was found dead in a front yard. No arrests or charges have been announced in this case.