Homicide

Convicted murderer charged in 2010 KC killing

Updated: 2014-01-13T23:59:42Z

By TONY RIZZO

The Kansas City Star

For the second time in less than a year, a Kansas City, Kan., man has been accused of strangling a woman and setting a fire to destroy evidence.

Curtis T. Horn, 38, who is serving life in prison for killing a woman and child in Kansas City, Kan., last year, was accused Monday of killing of a woman in Kansas City in 2010.

Jackson County prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in the April 2010 death of 34-year-old Lakeisha Ross, whose body was found in an east Kansas City motel room.

DNA testing after his Kansas arrested linked Horn to the killing of Ross in Missouri, according to Jackson County prosecutors.

In both cases, the women were strangled, and fires were set at the crimes scenes. The 2-year-old girl died as a result of the Kansas City, Kan., fire.

According to court documents released Monday by Jackson County prosecutors, firefighters discovered the burned body of Ross inside the motel room in the 6300 block of Blue Parkway. They found a “ligature device” wrapped around her neck.

Other motel tenants told investigators that they had heard the sounds of an argument and struggle in the room several hours earlier. Cell phone records showed several calls between the victim’s cell phone and Horn’s phone preceding the discovery of her body, according to the documents.

Early last year, after a DNA sample was obtained from Horn during the Kansas City, Kan., investigation, he was linked to evidence at the motel crime scene, including several beer cans and scrapings from under the victim’s fingernails, according to the allegations.

When interviewed by detectives, Horn said he knew Ross but denied ever being at the motel where she was killed.

He did admit to the Kansas City, Kan., strangulation of 34-year-old Brandi Johnson inside an apartment in the 1800 block of North 76th Drive. He also admitted to setting the apartment on fire, killing 2-year-old Amiyah McClenton, whom Johnson was babysitting.

“I know I went too far,” Horn is quoted as saying in the court documents.

He pleaded guilty in August in Wyandotte County District Court to two counts of first-degree felony murder, and in October was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms.

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

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