A Kansas City man has been charged with killing his father in a double homicide Thursday morning in an Independence apartment building.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Curtis Lee, 39, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action after he allegedly stabbed his father Charles Burtin to death. Police also found Burtin's brother Clyde dead in the apartment, though his death remains under investigation, police said.
Officers arrived at 2:43 a.m. in the 3500 block of South Lynn Street, a cul-de-sac south of Cargo Largo and the Mid-Continent Public Library South Independence branch, on a “nature unknown” call.
According to court documents, Lee met them at the front door and had bloody hands. Charles and Clyde were found dead in separate bedrooms. When officers put Lee in a patrol car, he spontaneously said the victims were his father and uncle, that “she did it” and that he had spent time in jail for killing another uncle in self-defense.
A neighbor told police the Burtin brothers had been renting the apartment and that Lee had been stayed there at least one night. She said Lee had talked with her by phone and said he had messed up. When told her father and uncle were dead, she began to cry and shouted that “Curtis killed them! How could he kill his own father?”
According to court documents, investigators found stab wounds to their chest, with no defensive wounds, and a large knife with apparent blood on the blade in the living room. Lee told police that prior to police being called, his father and uncle had been arguing and he had smoked PCP with his uncle. Lee said his father had taken the knife and stabbed his uncle in the uncle's bedroom.
Lee said he then went into that bedroom and pulled the knife out. When his father asked Lee to come into the father's bedroom, his father put the knife on the bed and they smoked a cigarette in the dark. Lee said his father then said, “It's going to be you or me.” Lee said he grabbed the knife and stabbed his father.
When police asked why he didn't just leave after grabbing the knife, Lee said he did not think of that.
The Burtins' deaths are the fourth and fifth homicides this year in Independence.