Crime

Jury finds Independence teen guilty in shooting death of 17-year-old

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 19-year-old Independence teen was convicted Thursday in the fatal shooting of a teen in the Independence Center’s parking lot.

Tyler J. Gates was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.

Independence police responded to a shooting on Jan. 2, 2018. Officers found the victim on the pavement. A witness told police that Gates had been in the vehicle with the victim, who was identified as Matthew Haylock, 17.

The jury recommended Gates serve 20 years for the murder conviction and 7 years for the armed criminal action charge.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14.

Another teen, Luis A. Ramirez, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and armed criminal action in relation to the incident, according to court records.

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.
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