A 45-year-old Independence man was charged Saturday with second-degree murder in the road-rage killing of 19-year-old Christopher Hutson.
John C. Young also was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action. Prosecutors requested a $250,000 cash bond.
Hutson, of Lee’s Summit, was fatally shot on the afternoon of May 25 after an encounter with another motorist at 104th Street and Holmes Road. His girlfriend, seven months pregnant and sitting in the passenger seat, was grazed by the bullet that killed Hutson.
According to Kansas City police, Hutson and his girlfriend were eastbound on Interstate 435 after a sonogram appointment when they became disoriented in rush-hour traffic.
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Hutson was at the wheel of the gold Chevy Impala when it exited at State Line Road, headed north, then took a right at 103rd Street. Unsure where they were, the couple slowly headed east, both checking their phones to get their bearings, according to police.
When they stopped for a red light at Wornall Road, a blue sedan pulled alongside in the right lane and the driver cursed.
“Learn to (expletive) drive,” the man said before going through the intersection.
Hutson tailgated the blue car to the next main intersection, at Holmes Road, intending to say something to the other driver.
But he never got the chance, his girlfriend told police. When both cars turned right onto Holmes, the driver of the blue car pulled even with the Impala, fired a handgun through the Chevy’s front passenger window and drove off.
Hutson died from a single shot to the head.
Young was arrested Friday after a tipster recognized him and his blue Chevrolet Cruze from surveillance photos circulated by news media. The witness told police that Young was an aggressive driver and always carried a gun.
Before calling authorities, the witness called Young and asked if he was the man police were looking for in Hutson’s killing.
“How did you know?” Young reportedly said, according to police, and advised the man that he had hired a lawyer and was not at liberty to say more.
When interviewed by police, Young “confirmed he had a self defense story, but wished to tell it with his attorney present.”
According to his Facebook page, Young is a graduate of Grandview High School and was married 15 months ago.
Hutson’s girlfriend identified Young as the shooter from a photo lineup. Police said the license plate on Young’s car matched the one on the suspect’s car captured by the surveillance photo.
Although the police report does not address how or when the two vehicles might have made contact, it said blue paint found on the right rear of Hutson’s vehicle corresponded with damage to the left rear of Young’s vehicle.
Authorities did not release the name of Hutson’s girlfriend, but a GoFundMe page set up to benefit her and the baby identified her as Tailer Monroe. It said that they’d been a couple for four years and that Hutson worked at a finance company.
According to their online birth gift registry account, their baby, a boy, is due Aug. 10.