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homicide

Rebecca Hange / KCUR 89.3

A consultant's report, written by two Los Angles murder investigation experts, is significantly changing the Kansas City Police Department's Homicide Unit.

It makes some fairly routine suggestions — create a "Murder Book" for each case and implement a 90-day unsolved investigation report, for example — but it also calls for more homicide detectives and a drastic change in the way suspects are given a Miranda warning.

The department received the 10-page report in July, but it has only now become public.

Segment 1: Lawmakers from urban districts want their counterparts from rural Missouri to come witness the devestation guns create in their cities.

Members of Missouri's Legislative Black Caucus expressed frustration with Gov. Mike Parson for his unwillingness to take up gun violence in next month's special session. They say they're not shocked, but disheartened, by the lack of urgency to address the issue.

Courtesy of Marvella Clark

A Jackson County judge on Tuesday railed about Kansas City’s decades of gun violence, state government’s “encouraging” the use of weapons, and his own futility in trying to bring justice to the “senseless, thoughtless and ultimately cruel” murder of a young mother.

Judge John Torrence sentenced Deandre “Day Day” Jackson to 26 years for the second-degree murder of Maryanna “Pretty” Pennington, 25, after a two-and-a-half hour emotional hearing where the victim’s family packed the room.

Matt Gibson / Creative Commons-Flickr

A new study says that fatal shooting cases are getting measurably more attention from police than non-fatal shootings. But one expert thinks giving fatal shootings more attention might not be the most efficient way to combat gun violence.

Fatal and non-fatal shooting cases often start the same way: A gun is fired; someone is hit.

But if someone is killed by those shots, the case gets handed off to the police department’s homicide unit.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It’s 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon, and officers Kelsey Wingate and Uriel Ojeda from the Kansas City Police Department's Central Patrol Division are already behind.

“We’re starting our shift with all these calls waiting for officer response," Ojeda says as he settles in behind the wheel and turns on the laptop.

Almost a dozen calls for service pop up. "That’s very common for us," says Wingate.

Segment 1: Mayoral candidate Jolie Justus shares her plans for Kansas City if elected.

Crime is one of the top concerns Jolie Justus hears when speaking with voters. The mayoral candidate explains why criminal justice reform is in her plans to address the city's crime rate. Justus also discussed her approach to using economic development incentives. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Violent crime is down in Kansas City, Kansas, due in part to a 60-day crime-fighting initiative. 

Federal, state and local law enforcement, including Kansas City, Kansas, Police and the Kansas Highway Patrol, partnered to target drug and "gang" activity in March and April. Through this effort — dubbed "Operation Lateral Storm" — they carried out 219 arrests and cleared nearly 600 warrants, officials said. From nearly 800 traffic stops, they seized 38 weapons, 37 pounds of narcotics and about $17,000.

Segment 1: Architects need to change the way they design buildings to adapt to the complex changes in our environment.

The benefits outweigh the costs when designing architecture that can withstand the effects of climate change, says one leading voice on the matter. Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and recent flooding throughout the Midwest show why cities need resilient design that also makes them quicker to recover.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A chilly wind carried off the balloons students at Ingels Elementary released Monday in honor of a classmate who was shot and killed last year.

It’s been a year since a stray bullet struck and killed 9-year-old Dominic Young Jr., a third-grader at Ingels. Dominic’s father told police his son was riding in the backseat of a pickup when the family drove through a rolling gun battle near U.S. 71 and Emanual Cleaver II Boulevard. The case remains unsolved.

Kansas City Homicides In 2018

Jan 7, 2019

There were more than 200 homicides in the Kansas City metro area in 2018. That's a big number, but it also constitutes a 10% drop from the previous year's count. What the numbers tell us and what they miss when it comes to homicide, plus insights into what we ought to pay more attention to when we talk about violent crime in our communities.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Volunteers read the names of 2018 homicide victims Saturday night at the AdHoc Group Against Crime’s vigil.

Across the metro, there have been 208 homicides this year, according to AdHoc's accounting. In Kansas City, Missouri, there were 133 homicides as of Friday, Dec. 28, the last time the Kansas City Police Department updated its crime statistics website. Less than half have been cleared.

REBECCA HANGE / KCUR 89.3

People are less likely to commit crimes when they think they’ll get caught.

That seeming truism, which is supported by research and the Department of Justice, led the Kansas City Police Department to make some changes this year after a wave of violence in 2017 sent the homicide rate to levels not seen in more than two decades.

Violence In Kansas City

Aug 13, 2018

There's been a lot of attention on the recent spate of shootings and homicides in Kansas City. On this episode, we take a deeper look into what's happening now in regards to violent crime, compare it with the broader trends of Kansas City and learn about the actions both activist groups and the city government are taking to prevent it. 

Guests:

Johnson County Sheriff's Office / KCUR

The Kansas City, Missouri, man accused of fatally shooting a coworker and injuring another outside of an Overland Park elementary school made his first appearance in court on Thursday.

Suspect Anthony David Grable, 32, was charged with one count of premeditated murder, one count of attempted premeditated murder, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of burglary in Johnson County District Court.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

For the second time in less than a year, the Kansas City Police Department is increasing the reward for homicide tips. As of Friday, the KCPD will dole out $10,000 for any tip that leads to an arrest in an unsolved homicide.

Johnson County Sheriff

A 26-year-old Kansas City, Kansas man was arrested Thursday and charged with killing a pregnant woman in Olathe.

Devonte Dominique Wash is charged with capital murder for killing a woman and her unborn child, according to court documents. 

Ashley Harlan, who was 23 at the time of her death, was shot and killed near the townhouse she shared with her grandfather and was, reportedly, one day away from finding out of the sex on her baby.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

The total number of homicides has been rising and falling for decades here in Kansas City, Missouri. Right now, we're in the midst of a scary climb. It's easy in times like these to ask, why? We always seem to start there. We want to change the conversation. 

Bigstock

Two big box stores' announcements this week changing policies on gun sales will affect seven Dick's Sporting Goods stores and eight WalMarts in the Kansas City metro.

On Wednesday, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would end all sales of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, and raise the age limit to 21 for purchasing guns. Walmart also put similar new restrictions in place.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Almost lost in the discussion about the 150 homicides in Kansas City last year is this: Why did the number of women murdered jump 52 percent between 2016 and 2017?

In 2016, 21 women were murdered in Kansas City. Last year the number was 32.

The Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee tackled that issue on Wednesday.

You might think that most women died from domestic violence or during arguments (as KCUR documented in the series The Argument), but the motive for most of the murders is listed as "unknown." 

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

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.

Courtesy of Crystal Hays and Shanta Barnett

In late August last year, Shanta Barnett got a call from her 15-year-old daughter Brannae Browne. 

“Momma, did you hear about what happened?”

Natasha Hays, the mom of one of Brannae’s friends, had been killed in a drive-by shooting, she told her mom.

Barnett warned her daughter to be careful.

“She was like, ‘Momma, we didn't do nothing so why we gotta be worried about it?’” Barnett remembers. “Something in my heart told her just to watch out, to be safe.”

Days later, on a Friday after school, Barnett dropped her daughter off at a cousin’s house in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas. About an hour later, Brannae was sitting on the porch when shots rang out from the street. With a bullet to the back, Brannae was soon dead.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

When it comes to violence in Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Rick Smith says that, more often than not, someone knows what's going on before it ever happens. 

To that end, the KCPD recently announced a substantial increase in rewards for homicide tips, from $2,000 to $5,000. Smith says the police need help from the community to prevent violent crime.

That's also a goal of the Kansas City Health Department's Aim4Peace program. But, Smith says he can't comment on the effectiveness of the violence prevention group's work. 

Wichita Police have identified the woman found dead in her home Tuesday morning as 42-year-old Perla Rodriguez. She was known for her work in helping abused women in the community.

Police determined Rodriguez died of blunt-force trauma. WPD spokesman Officer Charley Davidson says her boyfriend has been arrested and taken into custody for first-degree murder.

Courtesy of Kristen Oehlert

Alice Snodgrass was worried about her friend Nicki Alexopoulos. Worried about a threat from within her family.

“When she went silent, when she wasn't on Facebook, that was an indication that something was wrong,” Snodgrass says.

So, she drove 200 miles to check on Nicki. But as the two of them were catching up in the living room of Nicki’s home in Kansas City’s Brookside neighborhood, the “threat” showed up at the door. Nicki’s 38-year-old son, Patrick Alexopoulos, barged in with a 9 mm gun and a demand.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite a drop in murder rates at the national level, homicides in Kansas City are on the rise.

Courtesy the Clark family

Pretty Pennington was killed by a girl fight, a handgun and an AK-47.

She’d been to a friend's wedding that Saturday night, Nov. 12, 2016 — a fun party where she danced all night, picking up her phone only to post pictures to Snapchat. Her mother, Marvella Clark, was sitting at a table and noticed Pennington’s cell phone buzzed constantly.  

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It was a clear night in late July 2016 on the 3600 block of Askew Avenue on Kansas City’s East Side.

But inside one home, a fight was brewing. It was just after midnight, the police report would later say, when Lon’Nasha Tate opened the freezer to find that the ice cream she had saved for her kids was half empty.

Paul Sableman / Flickr - CC

Violent crime rates in Kansas City are on the rise, yet again. Today, we hear the first installment of KCUR's "The Argument," a reporting series that looks beyond the worrying statistics, and into the arguments that escalate to homicide. Then, we discuss how an 1878 eclipse, similar to the one that will cross the country on August 21, catalyzed scientific thought in America.

Photo illustration by Andrea Tudhope

The quiet neighborhood in east Kansas City, Missouri, was just coming to life that Friday morning, May 20, 2016, when Daniel Wilson pulled up in his old white Monte Carlo, witnesses say, carrying a grudge and a gun.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, with the victim's grieving mother at her side, said Monday that a man has been charged with the murder of a 24-year-old east Kansas City woman.

Ashley Geddes was discovered dead in her bedroom by her mother on June 1.

The suspect is 25-year-old Cedrick Russell, who lived next door to the victim on east 45th Place. Russell is also charged with sodomy, burglary, stealing and other offenses.

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