Jackson County jurors on Friday returned a guilty verdict for a 19-year-old accused in the 2016 shooting of a Lee’s Summit father who had been trying to sell a gun in the parking lot of an east Kansas City shopping center.
Fazon K. Swinton of Kansas City was convicted of second-degree murder, attempted robbery, armed criminal action and leaving the scene of a shooting. Jurors are currently deliberating on a sentencing recommendation, according to prosecutors.
Jacob A. Brantner was fatally shot on April 3, 2016 in the 8700 block of East 63rd Street. Swinton made arrangements to purchase a handgun from Brantner, then tried to steal it instead, prosecutors allege.
Investigators connected Swinton to the shooting through a cellphone and text messages exchanged before the incident.
Prosecutors said Swinton and Brantner agreed to meet at the parking lot outside the store. Swinton tried to take the handgun from Brantner without paying for it.
They wrestled over the gun before Swinton grabbed it and ran.
Both Brantner and Swinton pulled handguns and shot at each other. One bullet struck Brantner, killing him. Swinton later went to a hospital for treatment of a bullet wound.
Video surveillance of the incident showed Swinton getting into the front seat of a blue, four-door Ford 500 with a sunroof.
Police found a black cellphone in Brantner’s shirt pocket. The cellphone contained several text messages between Brantner and Swinton arranging the meeting.
Authorities also located text messages Swinton sent to a woman seeking a ride to the store to do a “lash,” which is street language for engaging in an illegal activity.
Swinton later told investigators that he was shot that day while playing a game of pickup basketball in Kansas City, Kan.
Brantner, who had ties to the racing community, owned a vehicle fabrication business in Lee’s Summit.