Jessika Peppers believed that her ex-boyfriend was dangerous.
Her mother, Carol Peppers, said that her 32-year-old daughter had foretold her own death: how it would happen, who would do it.
“The next time he sees me, he’ll blow my ... head off,” Jessika Peppers had told a friend, according to her mother.
David Love did indeed shoot his ex-girlfriend to death. Now, about three months later, her mother has learned that he will not be charged in her daughter’s slaying.
And Love wasn’t allowed to possess a firearm at the time because a protection order filed by his mother was in place, court records show.
In the days and minutes leading up to her daughter’s final moments, Carol Peppers of Independence said her daughter had been texting and calling Love in an attempt to coordinate her retrieval of an iPhone and laptop that she’d left at his home.
Love hadn’t returned her messages, so Jessika Peppers, who had been living in Osceola, Mo., went over to his home near 57th Street and Cambridge Avenue in Kansas City in the middle of the day.
Kansas City police wrote in an initial incident report: “The suspect was contacted and stated that he was asleep in his bedroom when he heard someone breaking into his residence. He pulled his gun out from under his bed and as soon as he saw someone coming into his room, he shot his gun.”
Love told police he hadn’t recognized his ex-girlfriend.
Jessika Peppers, suffering from a gunshot wound, was found by police near the bedroom in a hallway with a hammer in her hand, according to police reports. She was said to have entered through a broken window.
But “that’s all his side of the story,” Carol Peppers said. “My daughter is dead and can’t tell her side of the story.”
A public defender who represented Love could not be reached.
David Lunceford, a KC area lawyer, said violating protection orders can be a felony.
“Looks like the judge thought this guy was a danger to himself and others, and that’s why he put in there that he shouldn’t be in possession of a firearm,” Lunceford said.
Mike Mansur, a spokesman for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed Tuesday that charges would not be filed in Jessika Peppers’ slaying, citing self-defense.
When asked about the protection order, Mansur said he thought it had been terminated at the time of the shooting on Aug. 25. But court records show the order didn’t expire until more than a month later.
Love has not been charged for potentially violating the protection order, according to court records.
“We’ll review this issue of the order of protection and whether it was violated,” Mansur said.
Carol Peppers expressed incredulity over the fact that her daughter’s killer will not face homicide charges.
“If you can raise a shotgun after seeing a hammer, I’m pretty sure if you can see that hammer, you know who it is,” Carol Peppers said.
The circumstances that left Carol Peppers’ daughter with mortal wounds unfolded slightly less than a year after the Missouri Senate overrode then-Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a gun bill that included a so-called “stand your ground” provision that says people do not have a duty to retreat when faced with a perceived threat — in their homes and even in public places.
Kansas City defense attorney John Picerno said the law has served to embolden citizens.
“We’re getting back to the Wild West,” Picerno said. “Citizens are more emboldened now about what their gun rights are and what they can do to protect themselves.”
Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican, said he supports legislation that gives citizens peace of mind when protecting themselves from perceived threats.
“I don’t know the details of this case, but it sounds like he was in his home, so the ability to retreat, (depending) where he was in the home, may have been an impossibility,” Brattin said.
Meanwhile, Carol Peppers said she feels robbed of justice.
She clings to better memories of her daughter — a woman with a goofy sense of humor who loved the outdoors and fishing.
“It is unbelievable that a man can kill a woman who once lived in his house,” she said. “She didn’t deserve to be taken out this way.”