Kansas City, MO – Seven years after the headless body of a child was found in a wooded area near Swope Park, a jury has found Harrell Johnson guilty of first degree murder of the little girl known as Precious Doe.
Defense attorney Chris Slusher had told the jury that Harrell Johnson was not a premeditated killer.
"He did terrible things, he was using drugs. He was out of (his) mind. As Michelle said, 'those things take your soul away.'" Slusher said. "But he wasn't cool and he didn't want the child dead."
Kansas City, Mo. – It is the biggest white collar crime of it's kind in western Missouri- federal court history. Two former executives of the nation's largest pasta maker are charged with, and plead guilty to, bilking investors of untold millions.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri could set another record for homicides this year. There have been 90 to date, 20 more than this time last year, after a sudden upsurge in August. And a city council committee looked into what can be done about it yesterday.
Kansas City, Mo. – A construction crane company has fifteen working days to protest a $14 thousand fine levied by Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a deadly collapse near Weston, Missouri.
The federal agency cites Maxim Crane of Bridgeville, Pa.
A boom for the 800 ton crane fell May 23rd at the Iatan Power Plant. Terry Stimpson of Peculiar Missouri was killed on the ground. Three others were hurt. Dan Corcoran speaks for OSHA describing what he terms as two serious violations:
A group of church leaders is calling on the Kansas City, Kansas Police to address the treatment of immigrants in Wyandotte County. The police chief will be meeting with representatives of the group next month, though police say immigration enforcement is a federal issue. Lutheran minister Mike May said at a press conference outside police headquarters that the treatment of illegal immigrants is also church concern.
MAY: Who would Jesus deport? The answer is nobody . . . full stop . . . end of sentence . . . nobody.
If you blanch at the state of the economy, put yourself in the shoes of budget-handlers of the Kansas City police department. At a recent Board of Commissioners meeting , members did not seem to be too disturbed. The deficit is $5.6 million. A good portion is from gasoline prices. Deputy Chief Cy Ritter tells KCUR reimbursement from the city is three dollars a gallon when more than $3.60 has been common. In Colonel Ritter's words:
"It's going to cost us about $885,000 additional dollars. And that's what we're going to ask the city for."
Local police tend to expect a rise in violence over the summer, and this year has been no different. There's been about a 22 percent rise in homicides compared to previous years.
Community leaders each have their own approach to the problem: Mayor Mark Funkhouser and City Councilwoman Cathy Jolly are promoting a nationwide program to reduce the availability of guns in the central city.
County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar thinks the city needs better parole re-entry, substance abuse and anger management programs.
A contract is sealed between 47 men and women and the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese. Bishop Robert Finn admits plaintiffs suffered sexual abuse when they were young boys or girls over a period that spanned five decades.
Outside Crown Center District law offices, where arbitrations are deciding how $10 million in church funds will be divided among the 47, lawyers say the atmosphere inside is so charged nearly everyone has been weeping.
During a hastily called meeting with reporters, the Catholic bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese says it happened, it shouldn't have and he's making amends.
Bishop Robert Finn acknowledges the $10 million settlement of lawsuits against a dozen present and former clergy accused of sexual abuse. Forty-seven people, most of whom were boys and girls at the time, filed suit in Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court claiming abuse beginning as far back as fifty years. The diocese was accused of negligence. Now all are settled.
State law enforcers in Kansas are puzzled over a rise in incidence of methamphetamine labs, while it's completely different in suburban Johnson County.
First seven months of the year, as many meth cookers have been found as in all of 2007 across the state. Ninety Seven. Johnson County? Not a one. In all of last year there was just one. And that was a dumping of chemicals or equipment. Sheriff's Deputy Tom Erickson says this to KCUR,
When it comes to violence, it's been a long hot summer in Kansas City. Nightly local news is peppered with reports of violent incidents.
According to Kansas City police statistics, 77 percent of the victims are young black males. When homicides spiked three years ago, the city council called for a commission to examine the root causes of violence.
But community leaders say efforts to address the problem have been too little, too late, and they are critical of planners who have not involved young people in finding solutions.
After a weekend in which three people were killed by guns in Kansas City and another seven were shot, the police department becomes centerpiece for Mayor Mark Funkhouser's efforts to be part of the more than 320-member bipartisan group of mayors nationwide committed to getting illegal guns off the streets.
Local and federal agencies have closed an infamous period in Kansas City illegal drug history. KCUR's Dan Verbeck listened in at police headquarters.
It took six years, but a group of Kansas City police detectives, dedicated federal agents and determined prosecutors brought down one of the most notorious gangsters in recent memory, says crime analyst Karen Shaw who detailed how enforcers arrested and convicted Steve L. Wright Jr., who ran the 51st Street Crips with Power.
Kansas City, MO – A federal grand jury in Kansas City Wednesday charged members of a former Missouri-based Islamic charity and a former U.S. Congressman with money laundering and financing al-Qaeda terrorists. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Kansas City, MO – When last year's homicide rate rose dramatically, from 91 killings in 2004 to 127 in 2005, the Kansas City, Missouri City Council convened a committee to examine a wide range of data and programs related to violent crime in the city. Meanwhile, the homicide rate is back down this year, there have been 42 murders this year, as of Friday. The commission made recommendations to the City Council on June 29, and submitted a final report. To discuss its findings, mayor pro tem and city councilman Alvin Brooks joins us now.
Kansas City, MO – At least 156 people have died while in police custody in the United States following the use of a Taser, according to The Kansas City Star. Tasers or stun guns are used by law enforcement to tranquilize a suspect by shocking the nervous system. Last Saturday, Kansas City Missouri police used a stun gun to subdue a man who later died in a police holding cell. Witnesses say that 32-year-old Karl Marshall of Overland Park, Kansas was high on PCP and cocaine when police tried arresting him.
Kansas City, MO – In 2002, 29 year old Eric O'Brien murdered Tim Smotherland. The two men had been involved in a relationship for four years. When Smotherland decided he wanted to end the relationship, O'Brien shot him, and then killed himself.
Hundreds of victims of the Robert Courtney drug-tampering scheme and their family members watched as the former pharmacist was sentenced to 30 years on Thursday. The sentence drew mixed responses from those watching the proceedings.