Jackson County prosecutors have charged a man and a woman in connection to a residential burglary and assault on the homeowner, who later died.
Mary P. Couts, 32, of Blue Springs and John Lane, 17, of Kansas City each face second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and armed criminal action in the slaying of John T. Rector, 84 , who lived near Pleasant Hill.
The murder charges stemmed from the assault that occurred during the home burglary.
Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched Nov. 27 to the residence in the 28000 block of East County Line Road on a medical call. Deputies found Rector lying in his back yard with severe head trauma.
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Rector was taken to a hospital, but he never regained consciousness and died from his injuries on Dec. 8.
Investigators noticed the victim’s residence had been ransacked and a 60-inch television and a briefcase that contained financial documents including checks were missing.
Weeks later, bank officials alerted investigators that someone using a temporary Missouri identification that had Rector’s name tried to cash a check that was stolen from Rector’s home, according to court records.
Couts and Lane were later identified as suspects in the slaying.
In separate interviews with detectives, Couts and Lane each offered accounts where they blamed the other for stealing the items and attacking Rector, according to court records.