A jury convicted a Kansas City man of murder in the shooting death of a man sleeping in his vehicle last year in Independence.
The Jackson County jury convicted Chad D. Terry Jr., 20, late Wednesday night on one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action in the death of Erik S. Schwartz, 33, of Raytown on Oct. 30, 2013, in the 400 block of North Grand Avenue in Independence.
A second defendant in the case, Charles T. Carr, had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action on Oct. 23. He is awaiting sentencing on Dec. 17.
Terry will be sentenced at a later date.
According to court documents, a witness in a nearby home told police he saw Schwartz park his Jeep Cherokee on Grand Avenue. He saw another vehicle, a beige SUV, pull up next to Schwartz’s Jeep about an hour later. He saw a woman get out of the SUV and check the Jeep and then get back into the SUV.
A few moments later when the witness was not looking, he heard a single gunshot. The witness looked outside the window and saw Schwartz lying in the street and two males standing near him. Terry and Carr then fled south on Grand Avenue.
Schwartz was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead nearly eight hours later.
According to court documents, witnesses said four people, including Terry and Carr, were driving around Kansas City and Independence looking for cars to break into. When they came across Schwartz’s Jeep, the woman in the SUV got out to check it. She told the others that Schwartz appeared to be in a deep sleep.
The others involved told police that Terry was armed with what was described as a .38 revolver. He drove the SUV to the end of the street, then he and Carr got out and walked back to the Jeep.
The others in the vehicle said they heard a gunshot and soon after, Terry and Carr got back into the SUV and they drove back to Kansas City. They told police Terry was agitated and was threatening to kill them with the gun.
Back in Kansas City, they went their separate ways. After Independence police got an anonymous tip, suspects were interviewed and Terry was arrested. Carr was arrested and charged a day later.
A female aquaintance of Terry’s told police the suspects took only the Schwartz’s cigarettes. She said Terry appeared very “proud” of the fact that he had shot a man in the head.