Crime

Man charged in hit-and-run that left daughter of KC anti-violence activist seriously hurt

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Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

An Independence man has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash that left the daughter of a Kansas City anti-violence activist seriously injured, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday.

The man, identified as 41-year-old Christopher D. Wilson in court records, is also charged with second-degree assault in connection to the June 16 crash.

A combination of witness statements, surveillance video and Instagram images of the suspected car linked Wilson to the hit-and-run, court records indicated.

The crash happened shortly after 4 a.m. at East 31st Street and Benton Boulevard in Kansas City.

LaShanda Temple, 36, was struck by a vehicle while she was getting into her car.

Rosilyn Temple, who leads Mothers in Charge in Kansas City, told The Star earlier this month that the vehicle crushed her daughter against a wall, severely injuring her legs. LaShanda survived but doctors told Rosilyn they had to amputate one of LaShanda’s legs.

Court records released Tuesday said the suspect vehicle was described as a brown 1972 Chevrolet Caprice with a gold trim and gold wheels. The car was heading west on East 31st Street “at a high rate of speed” when the driver lost control and hit the victim, court records said. Four people reportedly witnessed the crash.

Police obtained surveillance video, which captured the incident.

Police also received a tip that the vehicle in question had participated in a car show at a Juneteenth celebration in the area of 18th and Vine streets on June 15, the day before the wreck.

Several photos of a car matching the suspect vehicle description were also seen on Instagram, court records said. Police conducted a computer check of the car’s license plate, as shown on one of the Instagram posts. They saw it was registered to Wilson, court records said.

Police found that the same license plate was allegedly in the area before the victim was struck. Court records said the license plate had been recorded driving through the intersection of East 35th Street and Prospect Avenue about half an hour before the crash.

Two witnesses who described seeing the driver of the suspect vehicle later picked Wilson out in a photo lineup, court records said.

Wilson was taken into custody on Monday. He declined to give a statement to police.

Bond for Wilson was set at $15,000

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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