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Examiner
  • Federal charges filed in triple homicide case

  • More charges have been filed against a group of people charged with murder in connection with a triple homicide in Independence last month.

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  • More charges have been filed against a group of people charged with murder in connection with a triple homicide in Independence last month.
    David M. Ketchmark, acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that 11 defendants have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to a drug-trafficking conspiracy. The conspiracy resulted in the deaths of Maria Hernandez, 48; her son Antonio Hernandez, 20; and Tomas Dominguez, 33, during a home invasion. A 12-year-old boy was also critically injured.
    Kevin M. Finley, also known as “Tubbs,” 33; Antonio Cervantes, III, also known as “Taz,” 32; and Bobbi Jo Phillips, 37, all of Independence; Raul Soto, also known as “Choch,” 22, of Kansas City, Kan.; Carlos Zambrano, Jr., also known as “Los,” 27, Paula K. Deardorff, 31, Martin Medrano, 22 and Amber R. Hart, 26, all of Kansas City; Clayton J. Deardorff, 34, of Columbia, Mo. and Ryan J. Clayton, 30 and Stephanie K. Allinder, 30, addresses unknown, were charged in a 14-count indictment Tuesday.
    As a result of the federal indictment, related state charges against several of the defendants will be dismissed after they are transferred into federal custody.
    The federal indictment alleges that Finley, Soto, Cervantes, Zambrano and Phillips participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. On Nov. 15 and 16, the five co-defendants allegedly met and agreed to rob the residents of the Independence home at 1505 Pope Ave. of a large quantity of methamphetamine and cash. During that meeting, they discussed the quantities of drugs they expected to find in the home invasion robbery and armed themselves with firearms.
    Finley and Soto are also accused of assaulting Jesus Hernandez-Corona by pistol-whipping him, according to the indictment. The action was in an effort to force him to disclose the locations of cash and drugs.
    Additional charges include:
    • Finley and Soto are charged with three counts of aiding and abetting each other to use a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. That crime resulted in the three deaths.
    Under federal statutes, the penalty for those violations is either life in federal prison without parole or the death penalty. The Department of Justice has not yet determined whether to seek the death penalty in this case.
    • Finley and Soto are charged with aiding and abetting each other to discharge a firearm and injuring Maria Hernandez’s 12–year-old son. Under federal law, the penalty for this violation is mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, to be served consecutively to any other sentence.
    • Finley is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finley was allegedly in possession of a Mac-10 9mm pistol on Nov. 16 and a Lorcin 9mm pistol on Nov. 17.
    • Zambrano and Soto were charged with one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Zambrano and Soto were each allegedly in possession of a Mac-10 9mm pistol on Nov. 16.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Paula Deardorff, Hart, Clayton, Medrano and Allinder were each charged with assisting co-defendants by receiving and disposing of evidence in order to hinder and prevent their trial and punishment. Clayton Deardorff was charged with concealing what he knew about the drug-trafficking conspiracy and murders.
     
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