Man charged in three KC area trail killings indicted in three more

KC trail killer is charged in these six killings

Grand jury indicts Fredrick Demond Scott, already accused in the deaths of 3 persons near south KC trails and in Grandview, with 3 more deaths.
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Grand jury indicts Fredrick Demond Scott, already accused in the deaths of 3 persons near south KC trails and in Grandview, with 3 more deaths.

A grand jury on Friday indicted a man already accused in the shooting deaths of three persons on or near south Kansas City trails and in Grandview with three additional trail killings, according to Jackson County prosecutors.

Fredrick Demond Scott, 23, is now accused in the slayings of David Lenox, 67, Timothy Rice, 57, and Michael Darby, 61.

Last August, prosecutors charged Scott in the shooting deaths of Steven Gibbons, 57, John Palmer, 54, and Karen Harmeyer, 64.

All five of the male victims were fatally shot, most from behind, in surprise attacks as they walked dogs, visited parks and, in Lenox's case, walked down a city street. Harmeyer, who was homeless and lived in a tent, was found in July in the 12000 block of Blue Ridge Boulevard in Grandview.

mike darby
Mike Darby File photo

The killings happened within about a year. But they drew increased attention with the May 18 killing of Darby, 61, co-owner of the former Coach’s Bar & Grill at 103rd Street and Wornall Road.

Darby's son, Brian Darby, said Friday he was appreciative of the efforts of police and prosecutors: "I feel like we are one step closer to where we need to be."

Lenox was found killed Feb. 27, 2017. He was returning home from walking his two Shih Tzus near 99th and Walnut streets. His daughter, Mindy Lenox of San Francisco, said she and her family appreciated the long hours and hard work put in by investigators and prosecutors so that a suspect could be charged in her father's death.

“We’re thankful that he is off the street and hopefully he’ll be held accountable for what he has done,” Lenox said. “I don’t know for me personally that there is any closure. Nothing can bring my dad back and nothing can take that pain away, but at least knowing that the person responsible will be held accountable, it will certainly be helpful.”

Timothy Rice
Timothy Rice File hoto

Rice, of Excelsior Springs, was found dead April 4 inside a shelter in Minor Park near East Red Bridge Road and 110th Street, where he had been camping, his family said. He had been shot multiple times, including in the head.

Among the six victims, the first was Palmer, a short-order cook at T.J.'s Cafe in Grandview. His body, shot several times, had been dragged off Indian Creek Trail and was found Aug. 19, 2016, in some woods near East Bannister Road and Lydia Avenue.

Harmeyer's body was found July 19 by several people who checked on her regularly, according to Grandview police. Police did not say how she died, but she was found with her feet protruding from her tent.

Gibbons was the last of the deaths. He was fatally shot after getting off a RideKC bus near 67th Street and Troost Avenue on Aug. 13. That was the break in the case, according to court records.

Investigators obtained surveillance video that showed Scott following Gibbons off the bus. Detectives later linked Scott to the scene with DNA from an iced tea bottle and a cigarette butt. They linked him to the Palmer killing with DNA from a T-shirt left at that scene.

Scott is black, and the six victims were white. In 2014 Scott threatened to shoot up a school and “kill all white people,” according to court records. His mother said he was demonized by schizophrenia.

Police said they did not know if the shootings were racially motivated.

"We want justice," said Brian Darby following a court hearing for Fredrick Scott who is suspected in the shooting death of Mike Darby.