Antoine Fielder faces murder in killing of Rosemarie Harmon
Two juries couldn't convict a man facing murder, so he walked free. About three months later, he went on a crime spree that included murder, according to prosecutors in Jackson and Wyandotte counties.
Antoine R. Fielder, 30, was charged Tuesday in Jackson County with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Rosemarie Harmon last December. Fielder also faces first-degree assault charges and two counts of armed criminal action. He also allegedly shot and injured Harmon's friend.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker held a joint press conference on Wednesday with her counterpart in Wyandotte County, Mark Dupree, to announce the charges.
Fielder is also charged in Wyandotte County with aggravated robbery, robbery, criminal possession of a firearm, aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim and intimidation of a witness.
He bragged to a woman whom he allegedly held at gunpoint that he had killed four people, and that he'd "put that bitch in the ground and her man in the hospital," referring to Harmon and her friend, according to court documents.
Though court records do not detail the other three homicides, Peters Baker said they are "under investigation."
Fielder was released from custody on Sept. 29, the same day Dupree's office dismissed a murder charge. Fielder had stood trial twice for the 2015 killing of Kelsey Ewonus, a 22-year-old woman from Overland Park.
Ewonus was found inside a car parked in an out-of-the-way area just west of State Line Road and a few blocks north of the University of Kansas Hospital.
The juries in both trials were hung, resulting in mistrials. The last mistrial was in July.
"We did everything we could to prove to a jury that he was guilty" of killing Ewonus, Dupree said at the press conference. He added, "If you catch him again, you try again."
Dupree said charges could again be filed against Fielder in Ewonus' killing should new evidence arise.
Peters Baker said Fielder is in custody in the Jackson County Jail. His bond was set at $500,000, cash only.
She praised the cooperation between law enforcement officials on both sides of the state line who worked on the case.
"We work together regularly," Peters Baker said. "We want Mr. Fielder to know that we are working together, and we are done tolerating any harm or threats that come to our witnesses."
Dupree would not say whether the witness intimidation charges that Fielder faces are tied to the murder and assault charges in Jackson County or the lesser charges in Wyandotte County.
Video surveillance and witnesses helped lead investigators to Fielder in Harmon's killing, according to court documents.
The documents state:
Harmon approached a dark-colored, four-door vehicle on Spruce Avenue in Kansas City but quickly ran away and then dove behind a couch that was outside. The car sped away but returned a minute later as Harmon's friend checked to see if she was injured. Fielder stepped out of the car and fired several gunshots at the friend, striking him as he ran away.
Fielder stood over Harmon and fired several shots at her. Harmon died at the scene.
Her friend was treated at a hospital. The incident was captured on video surveillance. After the shooting, Kansas City, Kan., police investigators alerted Kansas City homicide detectives that they had identified Fielder as a possible suspect in Harmon's killing.
Kansas City, Kan., police also had identified Fielder as a suspect in a Dec. 18 armed carjacking in their city in which a 9mm Beretta handgun was stolen.
When Kansas City police arrested Fielder on Dec. 30, they found a 9mm beneath the driver's seat of the car he was driving.
Kansas City homicide detectives later learned the 9mm handgun recovered from Fielder matched shell casings collected at the shooting on Spruce Avenue.
Fielder was booked back into the Wyandotte County Jail on Jan. 3, on charges filed in two cases.
He was charged Dec. 27, the day after Harmon was killed, with committing a robbery in Kansas City, Kan., in the alleged carjacking.
Fielder also is charged in that case with being a felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated intimidation of a witness.
Fielder previously served time in prison on felony drug charges, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Dupree said investigators with Kansas City police and Kansas City, Kan., police worked together since December to gather evidence for the new charges, in order "to show to a jury that this is a bad person."