A man charged with murder in connection with three deaths in the Woodbridge area of south Kansas City now faces two additional murder charges.
Brandon Howell, 34, previously had been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 2 shotgun slayings of Susan Choucroun, 69, Lorene Hurst, 88, and her son Darrell Hurst, 63.
Since those charges were filed, two other people injured that day, George and Anna Taylor, have died. Howell had been charged with first-degree assault in connection with their injuries.
The assault charges were upgraded to two additional first-degree murder charges in a Jackson County grand jury indictment, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Sunday evening.
Howell continues to be held without bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on the additional murder charges at 10:30 a.m. Monday before Circuit Judge Mary Frances Weir.
Court documents allege that Howell burglarized the Taylor home at 1 E. Woodbridge Lane and a woman at the residence called 911.
Officers arrived and found Choucroun dead in the driveway of her home, 3 E. Woodbridge, next door to the Taylor residence. They went into the Taylor home and found the couple both critically injured in the basement.
Officers then began a house-to-house search and found the bodies of the Hursts in the front yard of Lorene Hurst’s home at 7 E. Woodbridge. She and her son may have just returned from the grocery store when they were shot.
Witnesses told police that after hearing several gunshots, they saw the Taylors’ Toyota Highlander speed down the street. One witness said the driver stopped in front of Choucroun’s house, got out and shot her before getting back in the vehicle and driving away.
A few hours later, police were called to a Motel 6 at 8230 N.W. Prairie View Road, where they found three victims, one with several cuts on his head. The victims alerted police that a man had followed them to their room and asked for a cigarette. He ran after them and assaulted them, they said.
Police searching for the motel assault suspect soon found the Highlander abandoned in a restaurant parking lot a few blocks from the Motel 6.
Shortly before midnight, officers acting on the tip pulled Howell over. Besides the shotgun, the keys to the Highlander were found in his pants pocket, according to the court documents.
Two of the three victims from the motel incident identified Howell as the man who assaulted them. Platte County prosecutors also charged Howell with multiple crimes related to that incident.