The family of a man gunned down a day before his 26th birthday says his killer was a heartless monster, but that they pray for him to “open his heart to God.”
Dairian Stanley, 22, was convicted by a Jackson County jury of first-degree murder and armed criminal action on Wednesday in the shooting death of Torrence “Trimmer” Evans. Stanley was jealous and angry that Evans had been with his ex-girlfriend, Coreal Settle, 26.
Saying “If I can’t have you, can’t nobody have you,” Stanley, along with Settle, drove to a home in the 5600 block of Hardesty St. where Evans was staying on a Sunday morning, Sept. 25, 2016. Stanley shot several times at Evans, who died in the street.
Evans, the father of three, had returned to Kansas City for his birthday weekend. He was the frontman in his family’s musical ground, The Stable, and was trying to make a go of it in Houston, said Eric Silas, Evans’ uncle.
More than a dozen members of Evans’ family, including his grandmother, sat through the trial in Jackson County Court. They watched, crying and comforting each other, as prosecutors played a video of Evan’s last moments, caught on a Kansas City Police cruiser’s dashboard camera.
Stanley, who fired his public defender and represented himself, was unemotional. He was alone in court, as his family didn’t attend the trial. Settle, who was granted immunity, changed her original story and refused to identify Stanley as the one who shot Evans.
Silas said Stanley was a coward, a “cold, heartless murderer” who destroyed two families with his actions.
“I just don’t understand how a person can be so cold-hearted to not show any sympathy or remorse,” Silas said. “I mean, he actually looked at the videotape of my nephew, of his last breaths, and the man showed no remorse.”
“I’ve just never looked a monster face-to-face before,” Silas said.
The family was relieved about the conviction, feeling justice was served, Silas said, but they won’t be healed when Stanley goes to prison.
“I just pray that he has time to open his heart to God,” Silas said. “I don’t even know how to put it because I’ve never run across anyone like him before.”
Stanley’s case was covered in KCUR’s six-part series “The Argument,” an in-depth look at the more than 200 homicides in the Kansas City area in 2016.
Silas said he hopes coverage of the case helps Kansas City residents realize how many people are affected by the large number of homicides. In 2016, Kansas City was ranked in the top ten U.S. cities for an increased number of murders.
“I just hope it’s something that helps our city with all the murders going on,” Silas said. “Hopefully, God willing, we can get it together.”
Peggy Lowe is an investigative reporter at KCUR and is on Twitter @peggyllowe.