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Co-worker charged in KC shooting death of diner employee

Updated: 2013-02-28T05:20:20Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Jackson County prosecutors on Wednesday accused a man of luring a co-worker out of Chubby’s on Broadway and shooting him in the back of the head Tuesday night.

Prosecutors charged Jeffrey A. Hulett, 37, with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Lionel S. Hernandez, 47, a cook at the popular diner.

Court records said Hulett went to the diner in the 3700 block of Broadway on Tuesday night for the “sole purpose” of killing Hernandez.

Hulett allegedly offered to buy a lottery ticket for Hernandez if he accompanied him to a nearby gas station about 10:30 p.m. Once they were outside the diner, Hulett allegedly shot Hernandez “point-blank” without provocation, court records said.

Hernandez collapsed face-down on the sidewalk. Hulett fled but called police about 2 a.m. Wednesday from the 3800 block of Baltimore Avenue to surrender, according to court records.

Hulett allegedly told the arresting officers that he “had to kill the victim before the victim killed him,” according to court records.

The officers confiscated a 9 mm handgun believed to be the murder weapon.

Hulett, who worked part time at the diner, told police he plotted to kill Hernandez earlier in the evening, but Hulett did not reveal the specific reasons he was angry with Hernandez.

Hernandez’s niece posted on her Facebook page that her uncle was killed “all for a few dollars that if the person would have asked for, he would have given him.”

Several of Hernandez’s relatives work at Chubby’s, but they declined to comment through a Chubby’s official.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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