Kansas City man charged with killing victim during argument outside apartment

A 24-year-old accused of fatally shooting a man outside a Kansas City apartment over the weekend has been charged with murder, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

Marlawn D. Betts was questioned by police after 27-year-old Jesse Young III was found shot at the Olive Park Village apartments east of downtown Kansas City late Saturday night. By Tuesday, Betts was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

The killing happened in the 2300 block of East Ninth Street around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Two witnesses were at the apartment when Young and Betts got into an argument. One of the witnesses told police her boyfriend, Betts, had been sleeping in a bedroom when Young asked Betts to come outside with him.

The other witness, Young’s girlfriend, said she followed the two men when she noticed a gun in Betts’ pocket. The witness told police she saw Betts shoot Young once they got outside, court records said.

Betts’ girlfriend told police she also saw gunfire as she stood by the front door.

Betts responded to police headquarters on Monday after police had been looking for him.

During an interview, Betts told police he was sleeping when Young threw a backpack at him. The two went outside where Betts said Young punched him and shot at him, though police said they hadn’t found evidence that the victim was armed at the time of the shooting.

Betts said he then pulled out his gun and fired two shots at Young, according to court records.

Police said Young was shot in the back of the head and in the cheek. His body was found at the bottom of the steps.

Betts remains in police custody. Bond has been set at $250,000 cash.

A court date has not yet been scheduled.

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