Crime

Three men indicted for allegedly using tracking devices to carry out murder of KC man

Forty unsolved homicides from 2013: The brother of Ryan Cobbins awaits closure

"It sucks. You see a lot of other cases being solved," said LC Davis, brother of Ryan Cobbins, who was killed in 2013. Cobbins' slaying is one of 40 that remain unsolved from that year.
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"It sucks. You see a lot of other cases being solved," said LC Davis, brother of Ryan Cobbins, who was killed in 2013. Cobbins' slaying is one of 40 that remain unsolved from that year.

Three men were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly using GPS tracking devices to help carry out the murder of a 30-year-old Kansas City man.

Christopher Harris was fatally shot March 14, 2018, as he dropped off his 8-year-old daughter after her dance class.

Lester E. Brown, 32, Michael Young, 29, and Ronell Pearson, 32, are charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking resulting in Harris’s death, and aiding and abetting in cyberstalking, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said.

According to court documents, Brown and Harris were allegedly involved with distributing large amounts of high-grade marijuana.

In November and December 2017, the three defendants sent threatening messages to Harris on social media, the indictment alleges, demanding he pay $1,000 per month to Brown.

They surveilled Harris’s girlfriend, following her to their residence and in February and March 2018, they placed tracking devices on his car.

On March 14, Harris drove his daughter to dance class. Later as he was dropping her off at her mother’s residence, the indictment alleges the men shot at Harris’s vehicle, causing him to exclaim, “My daughter’s in the car.”

Harris was then shot multiple times and killed. His daughter witnessed the incident, prosecutors said.

The indictment also cites the 2013 murder of Ryan Cobbins, who was friends with Harris. One of the messages sent to Harris allegedly said, “Man, you ... are going to end up like Ryan.”

Cobbins went missing Oct. 24, 2013, following a haircut appointment.

Brown claimed he could arrange for Cobbins’s safe return and in November, Harris and another person paid $20,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Cobbins was found dead from gunshot wounds on Dec. 31, 2014, with hair clips still in his hair from his haircut appointment.

There are no charges in the indictment directly related to Cobbins.

Brown, of Kansas City, is being held in federal custody in an unrelated case. Young, of Independence, was arrested Thursday after a high speed chase with law enforcement in which he crashed his vehicle. Pearson, who currently lives in the Minneapolis area, was arrested Monday.

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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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