Crime

Murder suspect allegedly used axe to kill 2 men in northeastern Kansas City: charges

Two men found stabbed to death in Kansas City

Police investigated a double homicide Tuesday morning after two men were found stabbed to death near Ninth Street and Winner Road. Officers were called to the scene about 6 a.m.
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Police investigated a double homicide Tuesday morning after two men were found stabbed to death near Ninth Street and Winner Road. Officers were called to the scene about 6 a.m.

A Kansas City man was charged Thursday in the killings of two men found dead Tuesday in a northeastern area of the city.

Mario Markworth, 22, is charged with four counts, including two of second-degree murder, in the slayings of Kansas City residents Michael McLin, 56, and Kevin Waters, 52.

Police said Markworth used an axe in the killings.

Someone discovered the body of one of the men before 5:45 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Sheffield Life Center at Ninth Street and Winner Road, according to charging documents. Officers found the second body yards away.

Both men suffered head trauma and had been lacerated.

One of them had severe sharp force inures on his hands, which a detective wrote was consistent with defensive wounds. The other appeared to have also been bitten by a human.

On Tuesday night, a witness came forward and said he heard Markworth confess to the killings earlier in the day, according to court documents. The witness picked Markworth out of a six-person photo lineup, police said.

The witness said Markworth killed McLin over a dispute involving drugs, saying he had taken a pipe from him. The witness told detectives Markworth said he killed the second man because he believed he witnessed McLin’s death, according to a probable cause statement.

Markworth allegedly told the witness he stabbed the victims, according to charging documents. The witness told police he saw Markworth with an axe the day before the killings.

The day after the slayings, Markworth was taken into custody. He was wearing a backpack that contained an axe, which appeared to have blood on it, police said. He also had a debit card issued to McLin, according to court records.

In an interview with police, Markworth said he picked up McLin and dropped him on the pavement, causing his head to strike Markworth’s axe on the ground, according to charging documents.

Markworth was scared McLin was going to tell someone what happened, so he struck McLin four times in the head with the axe, he allegedly told police.

McLin wasn’t moving, and Markworth tried to hide McLin’s white tennis shoes, according to charging documents. But Markworth saw a man, later identified as Waters, who apparently woke up during the attack on McLin, police said.

“Did you see that?” Markworth asked, according to court documents.

“No,” Waters responded, “I’m just sleeping.”

Markworth then hit Waters with the axe, according to police. Waters tried to grab the axe, Markworth allegedly told detectives, so he bit Waters to get control of it.

When he regained control of the axe, Markworth allegedly struck Waters multiples times, according to charging documents.

Markworth told detectives he had never seen Waters before, police said. He was shown a photograph of Waters and confirmed it was one of the men he struck in the head, court records show.

Raised in a Christian home, Markworth allegedly told police, he said he knew right from wrong. His actions, he told detectives, were not right, according to charging documents.

In asking for a warrant to be issued, a detective wrote: “He used a weapon, an axe, in both murders.” He said Markworth posed a serious risk to the community.

Markworth’s other charges include armed criminal action. His bond was set at $250,000, police said.

Markworth did not yet have an attorney listed in public court records who could be reached for comment.

The two homicides marked the 87th and 88th homicides of the year in Kansas City, according to data kept by The Star that includes fatal police shootings. By the end of the year in 2018, the city recorded 143 homicides.

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Luke Nozicka covers local crime and federal courts for The Kansas City Star. Before joining The Star, he covered breaking news and courts for The Des Moines Register.
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