Crime

Man sentenced in 2014 quintuple killing in south Kansas City

Kansas City jury finds man guilty on all counts in 2014 quintuple killing

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and relatives of those who were killed by Brandon Howell share their thoughts about the guilty verdict.
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Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and relatives of those who were killed by Brandon Howell share their thoughts about the guilty verdict.

A Kansas City man found guilty in a September 2014 quintuple killing was sentenced Thursday to five consecutive life sentences in prison without parole, according to Jackson County prosecutors.

Brandon Howell, 38, was convicted by a Jackson County jury in April of 11 felonies, including five counts of first-degree murder, in the shotgun slayings of Susan Choucroun, 69, Lorene Hurst, 88, and her son Darrel Hurst, 63, and the beating deaths of George Taylor, 80, and Anna Taylor, 86.

The killings shattered the quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac on Woodbridge Lane in south Kansas City.

Howell was also sentenced to life in prison for each of the armed criminal action convictions, 15 years on the burglary charge and one year for the stealing convictions. Those sentences will consecutively to the life without parole sentences.

Prosecutors had initially announced they would seek the death penalty but that was withdrawn months before the criminal trial began.

According to court records, the killings started after Howell tried to steal a classic Jaguar at the Taylor home. A woman inside the house called 911.

Witnesses told police they heard several gunshots and then saw the Taylors’ Toyota Highlander speed away. The driver pulled in front of Choucroun’s house, got out and shot her before leaving.

Arriving officers found Choucroun dead from a shotgun blast in her driveway next to the Taylor home. They then found the Taylors badly beaten in the basement of their house. They later died at a hospital.

The bodies of the Hursts were found in the front yard of Lorene Hurst’s home. They had just returned from the store when they were shot.

Howell was arrested later that night as he walked along Interstate 29 in Kansas City, North. He had a shotgun in his right pant leg along with spent shells in a pocket and keys to the Highlander, prosecutors said.

Howell also faces criminal charges in Platte County.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.

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