Killer deals: Jackson leads all counties in probation for second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter

08/02/2014 6:47 PM

08/04/2014 10:05 PM

Jackson County gave twice as many probation sentences for voluntary manslaughter as all of Missouri’s other circuits combined. The county also is generous in giving probation to those convicted of second-degree murder. Kenneth Bledsoe’s son David was killed in a robbery at the family’s rental shop. The getaway driver got probation after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and robbery, and the Bledsoes worry because he is still on the streets.

Hundreds of violent criminals in Jackson County get probation rather than long prison terms. Some get such deals repeatedly. The result: “Authorities are, in effect, enabling crime.” LaShanda Bynum and her grandson, Domineak Jr., sat recently at a small memorial for her son. They are angry over how the killer had been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action before the slaying but was given probation.

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