A Kansas City man will spend 17 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a pair of 2017 murder charges from incidents within a week of each other.
Jerome Roberson, 33, pleaded guilty last month in Jackson County Circuit Court to second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the Oct. 28, 2017 killing of Brandan Brown, as well as the Nov. 2 killing of Michael Cantwell in Kansas City. Judge Jennifer Phillips then sentenced Roberson to 17 years for the murder and three for armed criminal action in both cases – all sentences to run concurrently.
Roberson had been scheduled to go on trial this week for the Brown killing, which happened outside a home in the trailer park in the 12800 block of East 47th Street in Independence. His second trial had been scheduled for next month.
According to court documents, two witnesses saw Roberson shoot Brown, who reportedly did maintenance work at the trailer park.
A woman whose granddaughter had a previous association with Roberson said she and Brown told Roberson to leave when he arrived at the trailer. After Roberson started to walk away, she said, she saw him “run up” and shoot Brown multiple times before fleeing in a red Chevrolet Camaro.
One witness said the grandmother told Roberson it was not a good time to see the young woman, but Roberson said he didn't care and was going to talk with her. When the grandmother and Brown told Roberson to leave, the witness said, Roberson saw Brown had a handgun holstered. Roberson told Brown to take his hand off his gun, then pulled out his own gun from his pocket.
Roberson appeared to leave when the grandmother got on her phone to presumably call police and was still holding his gun, the witness said, and Brown followed with his gun pointed down. The witness said he believed Brown wanted to make sure Roberson was leaving. Roberson then turned around and started shooting in Brown's direction, possibly just to scare them, then continued shooting when Brown moved into a different position and hit Brown.
The Camaro that Roberson fled in had been reported stolen out of Independence the day before the shooting, according to court documents. The day after the shooting, a Sugar Creek resident reported her vehicle, a PT Cruiser, stolen and said her daughter had made statements that she planned to travel to Texas with Roberson.
Police arrested Roberson later in November that year.