Anthony Carlos Richardson never walked away from someone who needed help, Kansas City Police chief Darryl Forté said.
So it was no surprise to Forté that his good friend intervened, and refused to give up, when his cousin was getting pistol-whipped by her boyfriend Friday night, according to court records.
Richardson fought the boyfriend, who knocked Richardson into a television set and onto the floor. Richardson announced he was going to go to bed but instead grabbed a jewelry box and clobbered the boyfriend with it.
The boyfriend allegedly shot Richardson twice in the chest and then shot the cousin, Stephanie Brown, twice in the head. He then allegedly shot Richardson’s wife, Mary, in the mouth. All three died — and the Richardson’s 17-year-old son saw the whole thing, according to court records.
The son and another person inside the Richardsons’ home were not hurt in the 10:15 p.m. attack in the 2400 block of Lister Avenue. The killings were among six recorded in a 10-hour span, the worst stretch of deadly violence in the city this year and one that prompted Forté to order extra officers onto the streets.
Jackson County prosecutors on Monday charged the boyfriend, Derek T. Hubbard, 46, with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, one count of robbery and three counts of armed criminal action. He was being held Tuesday night in lieu of a $750,000-cash only bond.
This is the second time prosecutors have charged Hubbard in connection with a domestic-violence related attack.
Hubbard was sent prison in 2000 for repeatedly punching a girlfriend, knocking her unconscious and knocking out two of her teeth. He told his 5-year-old son to lock the door before he threatened to kill the girlfriend, tied her legs together and restrained her for seven hours. Court records filed at the time noted that he had two prior domestic violence arrests. He was released in November 2009.
The following year, Hubbard allegedly chased his 17-year-old son into the street and threatened him with a knife. The dispute began when another relative told a joke that angered Hubbard and Hubbard’s sons were trying to calm Hubbard down, according to police reports, which noted that Hubbard “had a history of violence within the family.” Police cited Hubbard with assault.
Hubbard allegedly attacked Brown, 49, in June, knocking her unconscious and bloodying her mouth after she said he was “no good” during a game of dominos, according to police reports. When she tried to escape, witnesses told police, he grabbed her by the throat and said, “(Expletive,) I’ll kill your ass. You ain’t going nowhere.” He allegedly drove away with her and police could not find her.
It was unclear why the case was not prosecuted. Police said they later determined the crime occurred in Kansas City, Kan., and that Brown refused to cooperate.
Brown’s relatives, including Anthony Richardson, did not like Hubbard, Forté said. Hubbard would not allow Brown to visit her relatives, but that changed last month when the Richardsons moved to a house around the corner from Brown’s home. Brown started visiting Richardson regularly and confiding in him.
She felt safe there, Forté said, and that’s probably why she was at his home Friday night.
Meanwhile, Hubbard felt like he was losing control, investigators said.
Hubbard showed up at the Richardsons’ home Friday, sat down and began a “normal conversation,” court records said. But then something changed.
Hubbard abruptly stood up, locked the front door and pulled a gun, according to court records, which give this account of what happened next:
“Why are you disrespecting me?” Hubbard repeatedly asked his girlfriend.
Then he turned toward Anthony Richardson, 50.
“You in my business!” Hubbard reportedly said as he pointed a gun at him.
Hubbard allegedly hit his girlfriend with his fist and the gun and ordered her to leave with him. Get your purse and “hurry,” he ordered.
Anthony Richardson tried to stop him and the men fought briefly. The Richardsons’ teenage son tried to calm the gunman, saying no one was going to call the police.
Then the shooting started. The teenage son ran toward a bathroom. He looked back and saw his mother, 53, being shot in the face before he locked himself in the bathroom. The other person in the home ran toward the back door.
Hubbard fled in Brown’s car. He surrendered to police Sunday at police headquarters in her car. When asked for what crime he was surrendering, Hubbard reportedly said, “For whatever.” He declined to answer further questions, court records say.
Anthony Richardson’s death isn’t the first time Forté has lost a friend to violence. But it was probably the closest friend he has lost that way, he said.
Forté met Richardson, who he called Carlos, when he was 12 years old and they lived next door to each other. They were in Boy Scouts together. They were inseparable.
“He was kinda like a big brother figure. He always protected me,” Forté said. “I didn’t go the store without him. And he didn’t go the store without me.”
They built a two-story clubhouse in the woods near their homes. In the summer, they liked to camp out in the clubhouse overnight.
Richardson started driving when he was 15 years old but didn’t get a license. Forté said he drove Richardson to get his license when Richardson was 17 so he would be legal.
Richardson didn’t always make good decisions, Forté said, so they grew apart somewhat after high school. Richardson and a woman moved to Texas with a mattress strapped to the top of their car. But he and Forté never lost touch. Richardson married Mary, who he met in Texas, 18 years ago. They moved back to Kansas City about two years ago, Forté said, and the men were able to rekindle their strong friendship.
Forté said Richardson struggled to keep a job and pay his bills, so Forté helped him out whenever he could. Richardson had a “caring heart,” Forté said.
“He didn’t have much, but whatever he had, he’d share,” Forté said. “He would barbecue at least twice a week all year-round. He had two grills and they were his pride and joy. He would invite over anybody who was hungry.”
He was also a Christian and a dreamer. He wanted to open a thrift store. In the meantime, he had just landed a job detailing cars. He was happy to be earning $50 a day, Forté said.
Richardson’s wife, Mary, didn’t work. She liked to say she was “retired,” Forté said. She and Carlos had one child together — the one who saw his parents murdered. They each had children from prior relationships.
“She was bubbly, nice and outgoing,” Forté said of Mary. “She would talk to anybody. She was happy all the time.”
The deaths have hit Forté hard. He can’t shake the sick, empty feeling in his stomach.
“I haven’t had that feeling before,” Forté said. “It just energizes me more to get people involved in fighting violent crime. We gotta keep pushing… It’s personal, and it’s been personal to me for years.”