Guilty plea on federal gun charge

By Mike Genet

An Independence man in state prison on a manslaughter conviction for a July 2013 stabbing death has also pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge.

John Seger, 28, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Kansas City to felony gun possession, admitting that he had a gun when he sped away from Independence Police after an attempted traffic stop in January 2017. Police caught Seger on foot after he wrecked the stolen pickup truck, then found the gun inside the truck.

According to court documents, an officer saw Seger run a red light and tried to pull him over, but he instead continued to drive away until the truck wrecked.

Seger had been on police’s radar for the stabbing death four years earlier of 22-year-old Corey Laykovich in Independence, but investigators didn’t have enough information to bring him in as a person of interest. After the chase, according to court documents, he told police he knew about Laykovich and admitted getting into a fight with him in the middle of the night, claiming Laykovich had pulled out the knife and he managed to wrestle it away and Laykovich was stabbed when they fell on the ground.

Seger said he then fled and threw the knife away in the woods and ran to a friend's apartment. The knife was never found. Seger said he was sorry for what he'd done and that stabbing hadn't been “malicious.”

Laykovich’s mother, Michelle Metje, told The Examiner that Laykovich only had a pocket knife, which was found unused in his drawstring backpack.

Seger pleaded guilty in November 2018 to voluntary manslaughter for killing Laykovich, and a Jackson County judge issued the recommended nine-year sentence. 

In between the stabbing death and the police chase, Seger pleaded guilty in April 2016 to several felony charges in separate cases in Jackson County, including two counts each of burglary and tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of resisting arrest. Under federal guidelines, Seger faces up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. He is to be sentenced later. 

After Laykovich’s death, Metje and her husband Bob Norris founded the non-profit Corey's Network, designed to help families of homicide victims in the metro area with financial assistance, counseling and other services. To date the group has helped with more than 300 funerals since June 2014, Metje said. During Seger’s parole hearing in 2019 (he was denied), Metje testified that Laykovich’s organ donations saved multiple lives and provided some eyesight for two people.