Trial opens for KCK man in his mother’s murder

08/20/2013 12:57 PM

08/21/2013 12:02 AM

Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a Kansas City, Kan., man accused of shooting his mother and another person to death last summer.

Laura Michie, 40, and Monty Taylor, 54, were killed on Aug. 11, 2012, when gunfire erupted outside an after-hours gathering at a motorcycle clubhouse in the 1300 block of Roswell Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. Two other men were wounded.

Lamario Stayton, 25, is charged in Wyandotte County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery and criminal possession of a firearm.

Assistant District Attorney Beth Evers told jurors in her opening statement Tuesday morning that the shooting occurred after a disturbance erupted when Stayton was denied entry into the house because he was armed. Michie was attending the party and Taylor was the sergeant at arms for the gathering, she said.

“We’re not asking you to find that he intended to kill his mother,” Evers said. “But he intended to kill someone.”

Evers said Stayton fled the scene after the shooting and was not found for about a week. Because of that, the clothing he wore that night and the gun allegedly used in the shooting were not recovered, she said.

Stayton’s cousin, Casey Ellis, was also at the scene and fired a gun after seeing that Michie, his aunt, had been shot, according to Evers.

But defense attorney Paul Dent said Ellis was the man seen standing over the body of a victim when police arrived. Officers chased Ellis on foot and then in a car before he was arrested in Riverside. One witness who talked to the first officers on the scene described seeing two men firing guns. Another only mentioned one gunman who matched the description of Ellis, according to testimony.

In his opening statement, Dent emphasized the chaotic nature of the 3 a.m. gathering that involved a “huge conglomeration” of intoxicated people. He told jurors there was no evidence that Stayton fired the shots that hit any of the victims.

After the incident, Ellis was charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm the night of the shooting. He was sentenced in June to 18 months in federal prison, court records show.

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