By Allen Edmonds
HARRISONVILLE – Five area suspects – three males and two females – are being held in the Cass County Jail after their arraignment in Cass County Associate Circuit Court Monday morning on charges stemming from the Wednesday night shooting death of 25-year-old Timothy Hunter of Belton.
The shooting, which occurred near the Belton Heights Apartments at 1015 N. Scott, took place after the five had agreed to purchase 10 grams of marijuana from the victim and used a fake $100 bill to make the purchase, the participants told detectives in a series of interviews over the weekend.
Makayla M. Davis, 18, of Grandview, was one of three suspects captured at the Greyhound bus station in Kansas City just after noon on Saturday. According to court documents, she had her “bags packed and a ticket with the destination of Cleveland, Ohio.”
Also taken into custody at the station were Shane Pierce, 20, of Kansas City and Chrishon M. Willis, 19, of Grandview.
Alea M. Campbell, 18, of Belton, and Andre A. McKinney, 18, of Kansas City, are also being held in connection with the incident.
All are charged with second-degree murder, robbery, two counts of armed criminal action and forgery. Davis, Pierce, Campbell and McKinney are each being held on $150,000 and, while Willis is being held on $250,000 bond. Willis admitted to shooting the victim, according to court documents.
Officers were called to the scene at 11:24 p.m. Wednesday in response to a “shots fired” call, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Arriving on the scene, they observed the victim lying face down in the middle of a private drive at the apartment complex. Paramedics from the Belton Fire Department arrived on the scene and found the victim to be deceased. An autopsy later determined Hunter had died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Officers found a “for movie use only” $100 bill on the ground near the victim’s body, the affidavit said.
Within the hour, a Belton detective interviewed the victim’s girlfriend, who said the victim was selling marijuana and that he had received a Facebook Messenger message from Davis. The woman told the detective she did not know Davis.
She told the detective that she believed Hunter went outside their apartment to meet Davis. She said she was outside the apartment in the carport area and observed the victim walk to the south of her apartment. She said he walked to a white, four-door car, and that she believed the person in the car was the person who contacted him to buy marijuana.
She said she saw the victim standing at the passenger side of the white vehicle, and then she heard one “pop” noise. She said she saw the white car driving away from where it had been parked, and observed the victim lying in the road in front of the apartment complex. She said she ran toward the victim and observed he was bleeding from his chest.
Another individual told detectives later in the day that she knew the victim’s Facebook password. She said when she head he had been shot, she logged into his Facebook account and saw that Davis had been the last person the victim had messaged.
She showed the detectives the messages from Davis, who allegedly asked Hunter if she could buy marijuana from him, and asked to see it.
The price of 10 grams for $100 was agreed upon at 11:16 p.m., according to the affidavit, at which point Hunter provided his address. Davis told Hunter that she was with her brother, and that Hunter was to come to the passenger side door.
At 11:22 p.m., Davis sent the victim a message notifying him that they had arrived. The woman confirmed that she knew Davis, and the conversation was later confirmed on the victim’s phone, according to the affidavit.
A search warrant was issued for Davis’ Grandview residence later in the day, where a fake $100 bill was recovered from her basement bedroom, according to the affidavit.
After Davis and the others were taken into custody at the Kansas City bus station, she agreed to be interviewed after being read her Miranda rights, according to the probable cause statement.
Also agreeing to speak to detectives was Campbell, who was taken into custody separately on Saturday.
Campbell told officers that she and Davis were at Davis’ Grandview home along with Pierce and two other males on Wednesday, talking about setting up a robbery. Davis told officers the plan was to “purchase marijuana with a fake $100 bill,” according to the affidavit. Campbell told officers she provided the fake $100 bill as the group discussed the plan. Campbell said that “Timmy,” the victim, “frequently carried a gun and thought this was a bad idea,” the document said.
Nonetheless, she said, Davis began communicating on Facebook in an attempt to arrange the drug buy.
She told officers that Pierce was the driver, and an unknown male, later determined to be McKinney, was in the front passenger seat; Davis was in the rear seat behind the driver; Campbell was in the rear middle seat; and Willis was in the rear seat behind the passenger.
She said when they arrived at the Belton apartment complex, Hunter gave the marijuana to McKinney, in the front seat passenger seat, in exchange for the fake $100 bill, which she handed to him.
“She said they tried to leave quickly, but the vehicle was in reverse, so they initially started backwards before moving forward,” according to the affidavit.
“(Campbell) said she was able to see the victim through the front windshield, front passenger seat window and rear passenger seat window. She said the victim started to step in front of the car, likely because he realized the money was fake. She said they continued driving forward,” the affidavit said.
“(Campbell) said she heard a shot and realized (Willis) had shot through the rear passenger side window. (Campbell) said she didn’t know if anyone had been hit. She stated she never saw the victim with a gun.”
Davis initially told detectives that she believed the victim had been shot in self-defense because he had pulled a firearm on the group, but later “acknowledged her initial statement was not truthful and said she never saw the victim pull or point a firearm at her or anyone in the vehicle,” the affidavit detailing her case said.
Davis told detectives she initially agreed to set up the buy, writing on her Facebook "story" that she was looking to purchase some "tree," slang for marijuana
She told officers that Hunter "slid up on her story" and told her he could sell to her.
In his interview with detectives, McKinney, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, told officers that Pierce, who was driving the vehicle, pulled out a handgun and placed it on the seat between them when they arrived at the apartment complex. McKinney said he took the gun and placed it on the floorboard, then kicked it under his seat.
McKinney told officers that after Campbell handed the victim the counterfeit money, he saw the victim look at the money and begin to frown.
He said he “saw the victim reaching for this waistband and believed the victim was going for his gun.”
McKinney said he ducked his head down and kept his head down as (Pierce) drove away. He told officers he “never saw the victim with a gun and did not see the victim extending his arm as if he had a gun. He stated that he saw the victim reaching for his waistband when made him believe the victim had a gun.”
For his part, Willis admitted to officers that he fired shot at Hunter, according to the affidavit.
He said that according to the plan, he and McKinney, both seated on the passenger side, would carry firearms; Davis, seated in the driver’s side rear seat, would arrange the meeting and tell the victim to go the passenger side; Campbell, seated in the rear center, would present the fake $100 bill; and Pierce would drive away before the victim could determine the bill was counterfeit.
Willis told officers detectives the victim was standing next to the front passenger door as they started to drive away, then the vehicle rolled backwards.
“(Willis) said the victim moved to the front passenger corner of the vehicle and raised his shirt to show he had a weapon inside his waistband. (Willis) said the vehicle was moving forward and the victim moved out from in front of the vehicle. (Willis) said the victim was near the rear passenger door and he fired one shot through the tinted rear passenger window of the vehicle,” the affidavit said.
“(Willis) admitted to detectives that he did not see the victim with a weapon in his hands when he shot at the victim,” the affidavit said.
Willis also told officers that he had received the weapon from the same individual that owned the vehicle they were in. That person, who was not with the group that night, has not been charged in connection with the case.
All five have been scheduled to appear before Associate Circuit Judge Mike Rumley for bond hearings on Monday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m.