Independence man, accused of shooting his mother’s fiance, found guilty of murder

A 28-year-old Independence man has been found guilty in the 2017 shooting death of his mother’s fiance, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced in a news release.

Jackson County jurors found William M. Miller-Kirkland guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action after 50-year-old Teddis Burns-El was fatally shot during a disturbance Dec. 28, 2017.

Independence police were called to investigate the shooting around 3 a.m. at a home in the 1400 block of Osage Street.

According to court records, Miller-Kirkland’s mother told police her son came over to the residence and was yelling at Burns-El while carrying a gun. She said she tried to disarm him but he fired anyway, striking Burns-El once in the arm.

After Burns-El fell to the floor, court records indicate Miller-Kirkland stood over him and fired multiple shots before leaving in a white SUV.

Police located Miller-Kirkland in the SUV and took him into custody after a short pursuit.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Oct. 25.

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How we did this story

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office issued a news release, announcing the verdict in the 2017 murder case.

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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.