An Independence man who turned 18 just two weeks ago has been charged with murder. Authorities say he shot another man outside an Independence apartment complex Friday afternoon.
Jackson County prosecutors Monday charged Jason Belshe with first-degree murderm robbery and two counts of armed criminal action in the shooting death of 21-year-old Nikolas Lampton.
Police found Lampton dead when they responded shortly after 1 p.m. Friday to a shooting at the 300 block of Sundown Drive, in an apartment complex just off U.S. 24 between Sterling and Forest avenues in northwest Independence.
According to court documents, witnesses said the shooter had fled to a nearby apartment, and there officers found Belshe among several occupants as well as clothing matching the description of the shooter. Belshe’s listed address is a western Independence motel on U.S. 40.
Video surveillance of the apartment complex showed the shooting, which happened after Lampton handed Belshe something and Lampton had turned his back to Belshe and then started to run away.
Video also showed Belshe running to the nearby apartment and no one left the apartment before police arrived at the door.
A witness who had driven with Lampton to the scene said Lampton planned to trade $400 and an ounce or marijuana to a person only known as “J Bay” for a pair of guns. The witness identified Belshe from a photo lineup and said there were three gunshots not more than 30 seconds after Lampton and Belshe walked away from the car.
According to court documents, police found three guns, two of them loaded, in the closet off the bedroom where they found Belshe’s clothes. Belshe told police he had arranged a gun sale with Lampton but then Lampton tried to “up on him” and take the gun. He claimed Lampton had tried to pull a gun on him and he shot at Lampton while running away from him. He said Lampton wanted to give him “weed” and the money for a gun, but Belshe only wanted the money as he was already on probation for weed.
An autopsy showed Lampton had two entrance wounds to the back. He also had $400 on him when police found him dead.
Prosecutors requested a $500,000 cash bond for Belshe.
Hampton’s death marked the second homicide this year in Independence. No charges have been announced the first one, a stabbing death last month.