Crime

Guilty verdict in drive-by murder of Kansas City 3-year-old Amorian Hale

Family of slain 3-year-old Amorian Hale talks about guilty verdict

The family of Amorian Hale talks about Tuesday's guilty verdict in the trial of a man convicted of shooting the 3-year-old. Amorian was killed in his bed when shots were fired into his Kansas City home in 2015.
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The family of Amorian Hale talks about Tuesday's guilty verdict in the trial of a man convicted of shooting the 3-year-old. Amorian was killed in his bed when shots were fired into his Kansas City home in 2015.

A Kansas City man was found guilty Tuesday in the 2015 drive-by murder of a 3-year-old boy.

A Jackson County jury found Dominque Marchbanks guilty of second-degree murder in the May 2015 fatal shooting of Amorian S.L. Hale.

He was also convicted on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Members of Amorian’s family were in court to hear the verdict.

“We are very, very overwhelmed with the verdict,” said the boy’s mother, Monee McKinney. “We are happy that they did go ahead and catch somebody who is guilty.”

Marchbanks, 26, was the first of three men charged in the case to go to trial and be convicted.

Murder charges are pending against SirTerry Stevenson and Sulif Wilkins.

After the killing, Wilkins was also charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is serving a 10-year sentence in that case.

Amorian was asleep when a fusillade of bullets was fired from an assault-style rifle into his family’s home in the 6700 block of Walrond Avenue.

One bullet struck the boy’s head, killing him instantly. Two adults and three other children in the home were not hit.

When charges were filed, Jackson County prosecutors alleged in court documents that the shooting was carried out in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Marchbanks’ brother several months earlier.

Amorian’s grandfather, Eric McKinney, said the guilty verdict will help bring closure to the family.

“Hopefully that this will show the public that the police are here to help us and also they will catch you,” McKinney said. “Right now I am just happy that this part is over.”

Prosecutors Tim Dollar and Katherine Baker share their thoughts on the jury's guilty verdict in the March 31, 2015 fatal shooting of 3-year-old Amorian Hale who was killed in his bed after shots were fired into his home.

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