A pair of murder trials stemming from 2016 homicides in Independence are scheduled to begin Monday in the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse.
Christopher P. Taylor, 40, is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Whitney Gray. Taylor allegedly shot Gray in a fit of road rage at the intersection of Sterling Avenue and Winner Road. He then fled the area before investigators tracked him down in South Dakota.
Cory King, 28, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly knifing 63-year-old Louise Dickey to death in her west Independence home in March 2016. According to court documents, after being tracked to a motel in the region, King told police he had been under the influence of drugs and he and Dickey argued after she wouldn't let him sleep on her couch before he killed her. King said he knew Dickey through his aunt, one of Dickey's neighbors.
Another murder trial, that of 19-year-old Malik Duren in the October 2016 shooting death of Luis Cedres in Blue Springs, had been scheduled for this week but has been rescheduled for Jan. 22, 2019.