A Jackson County jury convicted an Independence man of first-degree murder Thursday in the shooting of his mother’s fiance.
William M. Miller-Kirkland, 28, of Independence, was found guilty of first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Teddis Burns-El in an Independence home in December 2017.
Miller-Kirkland is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25.
According to court records, a witness told police that Miller-Kirkland shot Burns-El once and then stood over him and shot him more times.
Independence police were called to the residence on the 1400 block of Osage Street shortly before 3 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017. Miller-Kirkland’s mother told police her son had shot her fiance. He then fled in a truck, led police on a brief chase on U.S. 24 and asked officers to shoot him when he was stopped.
Miller-Kirkland’s mother said she and Burns-El were asleep when they heard banging and screaming outside and realized it was Miller-Kirkland.
Miller-Kirkland’s nearby home was recently burglarized, and his mother told police that he believed Burns-El was in on it or was covering for someone who was. She said her son was drunk and said he was yelling so loudly that she pushed him against the door and covered his mouth to quiet him down.
Burns-El walked away to diffuse the situation, but he also shouted to the woman that Miller-Kirkland had a gun. She told police she saw Burns-El holding his own gun at his side, not aimed at anyone. Miller-Kirkland told police Burns-El did aim the gun.
The mother said she saw her son’s finger on the trigger of the pistol and was afraid it would go off. She tried to get it from him, but then let go. He shoved her aside and shot Burns-El in the arm. Burns-El fell to the floor, dropping his own gun.
Miller-Kirkland stood over him and fired several more times. Police later recovered 14 shell casings from the pistol that they confirmed Miller-Kirkland had bought from a Noland Road gun shop in March 2017.
Burns-El was alive, with a faint pulse, when police arrived, but was declared dead at the hospital.