Man charged in Independence homicide; victim was ‘key witness’ in pending murder case

A man taken into custody and charged in a Sunday morning homicide in Independence had been free on bond awaiting trial in a previous murder case, according to court documents.

His victim Sunday, police said, was a “key witness” in the pending murder case.

Hours after a double shooting left one person dead Sunday, Independence police identified 27-year-old Michael T. Dumas of Pleasant Hill as a suspect and took him into custody.

Michael T. Dumas 2
Detectives were searching for Michael Dumas, 27, of Pleasant Hill, in connection with a fatal shooting at a home early Sunday in Independence. He was taken into custody Sunday afternoon. Independence Police Department

Sunday’s shooting occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m. at a house in the 3800 block of South Sterling Avenue. It left one person with minor injuries, while a second victim died at a hospital.

Prosecutors, in announcing new charges Sunday night, identified the victim as Sarah E. Simms.

Simms was a key witness in the investigation of Dumas for a second-degree murder charge in a 2017 killing.

He and another man were accused in the Sept. 29, 2017 fatal shooting of Phillip J. Anderson, whose body was found in the parking lot of a Quiktrip at U.S. 40 and Sterling Avenue, less than a mile from the scene of Sunday’s shooting.

In the 2017 killing, Jackson County prosecutors charged Dumas with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He was awaiting trial when he was released on bond in November 2017.

Dumas’ bond had been set at $150,000 cash. He was released after a bond reduction hearing, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.

The records say Dumas was released on Nov. 4, 2017.

Sunday’s double shooting and the search for Dumas came just over a year later.

As Independence police searched for Dumas Sunday, they said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police announced he was in custody shortly before 5 p.m.

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