A year after the brutal murder of a Kansas City couple and three potential witnesses, the prosecutor on the case has stated that she will seek the death penalty for Brandon Howell, 34, who has been charged with 12 felonies related to the crime including three counts of first-degree murder.
In September 2014, Howell is alleged to have beaten Ann and George Taylor while burglarizing their home and attempting to steal their vintage Jaguar. The Taylor’s, both in their 80s, died after being taken to the hospital. Howell was also charged with murdering Alice Hurst, 88, and her son Darrel Hurst, 63, who were shot in their front yard and then shooting Susan Choucroun, 69, who was in her driveway and witnessed the attack.
Ann Tyler was able to get to a phone and call 911. The Taylor’s were taken to the hospital but both died after being taken off of life support. The horrible crimes shook up the entire city when they happened. Kansas City Mayor Sly James said, after the tragedy:
The events are going to leave a scar on a peaceful neighborhood, probably forever
Neighbors of the elderly couple also had trouble understanding the scale of the tragedy, including Rebecca Fleming, a board member of the Homeowner’s Association:
This was just an extremely rare circumstance that ended badly for some very good people. (This will) still be a great community, but none of us will ever forget this. These were our friends and neighbors. Our hearts will always be with them and their families.
Although it has been almost a decade since the death penalty has been sought for a crime in Kansas City, Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County Prosecutor, announced the decision in a press release, saying that the killings were wantonly violently vile, horrible or inhuman.
Our focus today is on the five victims who tragically lost their lives on the afternoon of Sept. 2 2014, and their loved ones left behind.
Howell was arrested shortly after the crime and has been held in the Jackson County jail since.