Jackson County murder trial goes forward without defendant

07/01/2014 3:55 PM

07/01/2014 5:23 PM

A triple murder trial began Tuesday in Jackson County without the defendant.

The courtroom behavior of Derek T. Hubbard, who is charged in the 2011 shooting deaths of three people, resulted in two mistrials during jury selection last week.

On Tuesday, a lone television screen with a small video camera attached stood blank in a corner as a new trial began. The camera provided a live feed for Hubbard to watch the proceedings, according to a court spokeswoman.

If Hubbard exercises his right to testify, he may appear in person or through a live feed on the television.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Justine E. Del Muro made no reference to the television Tuesday. She did ask courtroom spectators that if they found certain photographs exhibited during the trial to be upsetting that they leave the courtroom “without making any kind of fuss.”

Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Moeder told jurors how, on Nov. 11, 2011, Hubbard allegedly arrived at a small party in the home of Anthony Carlos Richardson and Mary Richardson in the 2400 block of Lister Avenue. Also there was Stephanie Brown, a cousin of Anthony Richardson and Hubbard’s estranged girlfriend.

After a brief interlude, Moeder said, Hubbard “slammed the door shut and pulled out a gun, and he started pointing the gun at everyone.”

However, public defender Anna Lammert told jurors that the incident arguably began the night before, when Anthony Richardson had kicked one of his sons out of the house.

The testimony of another son of Richardson implicating Hubbard means that the second son “wants to protect his brother,” Lammert told jurors.

She also suggested Kansas City police detectives conducted a cursory investigation.

“The police investigation in this case was over before it started,” Lammert said.

In one of his outbursts last week, Hubbard claimed that Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté was part of a conspiracy to see him convicted.

“You are all out to get me,” Hubbard yelled.

Anthony Richardson had been a childhood friend of Forté’s.

Twice last week, Jackson County downtown courthouse guards had to remove Hubbard during jury selection, first after he began yelling in the courtroom and a second time after he allegedly attacked one of his lawyers.

After Hubbard’s outbursts, prosecutors filed a legal brief “in support of denying defendant the right of being present at trial.” In the brief, prosecutors said that Missouri law supported the court’s decision to ban the defendant from the courtroom.

Hubbard is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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