A Kansas City man who gunned down a romantic rival was sentenced to two life sentences Thursday, despite a prosecutor’s plea for a 100-year term that could act as a deterrent to more “senseless killing.”
Dairian Stanley, 22, showed no emotion as Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Charles McKenzie handed down his sentence. Stanley was convicted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action but was acquitted of kidnapping.
Stanley killed Torrence “Trimmer” Evans on a Sunday morning in September 2016, the day before Evans’ 26th birthday. Stanley was angry that his girlfriend had been with Evans and told her, “If I can’t have you, can’t nobody have you.”
The first-degree murder conviction requires a mandatory sentence of life without parole. But Prosecutor Christopher Acurso asked McKenzie to give Stanley a second, 100-year sentence on the armed criminal action conviction.
Acurso noted that minutes after Stanley was convicted on January 17, as he was being lead back to jail by a deputy, he passed a dozen members of the Evans family, looked them in the eye and said, “It was worth it.”
Noting Kansas City’s “notoriety" for a high crime rate, Acurso said a 100-year sentence would help prevent other such murders.
“One zero zero years,” Acurso said, enumerating 100 out loud, “and here’s why: because the state wants to deter anyone else thinking of another senseless killing in Jackson County is worth it.”
Public defender Paige Bremner said the request was “ridiculous.” Such a sentence would not deter someone who is angry and ready to be violent, she said.
“That’s not somebody who’s going to be deterred because ‘Oh, I heard about this dude who got 100 years,’” Bremner said. “He’s already looking at life without parole!”
Instead of 100 years, McKenzie imposed a second life sentence, which is legally considered roughly 30 years. He also thanked the Evans family for their “calm and courage” during a difficult two-week trial.
Stanley’s case was the subject of a story 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.
Peggy Lowe is an investigative reporter at KCUR. She's on Twitter at @peggyllowe.