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Man sent to trial in 2010 killing of Shawnee liquor store owner

Updated: 2013-09-25T06:16:03Z

By TONY RIZZO

The Kansas City Star

A Johnson County judge on Tuesday ordered a 30-year-old man to go to trial for the 2010 killing of longtime Shawnee business owner Gerry Grovenburg.

District Judge Kelly Ryan found probable cause to try Bruce Ashley on charges of first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery.

Prosecutors charged Ashley and his cousin Larry Marshall Jr. earlier this year, but Marshall waived his preliminary hearing and testified against Ashley.

Grovenburg, 61, was shot to death May 12, 2010, inside Mr. G’s Liquor Store at 76th Street and Quivira Road. He had owned the business for 35 years.

About a month after Grovenburg’s killing, Ashley was wounded in a Kansas City shooting incident. Shell casings found at the shooting scene and in the vehicle Ashley was in when he was shot matched the shell casing left at the scene of the Shawnee crime, according to testimony Tuesday.

Marshall, 33, said Monday that he and Ashley had plotted to rob the store in April 2010, but they called it off. On the night Grovenburg was killed, Marshall testified he drove his cousin to the area and circled until Ashley called and told him to pick him up nearby.

Marshall testified that Ashley told him, “I think I shot somebody.”

After the hearing, Ashley’s attorney, Carl Cornwell, entered not-guilty pleas on Ashley’s behalf. Ashley’s next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 29.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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