Crime

KCK mass shooting suspect released from jail last month over objections of prosecutors

A suspect in the Kansas City, Kansas, mass shooting that killed four people and injured five others early Sunday had recently been released from jail in Missouri over the objections of prosecutors, according to court documents.

Javier A. Alatorre, 23, has three pending felony criminal cases in Jackson County related to drugs, fleeing from police and tampering with a motor vehicle. He also had served a brief stint in a Kansas prison for attempting to flee from police by driving recklessly.

Last month, Alatorre sought to get his bond reduced so that he could get out of jail. The prosecutor objected to his request, saying that Alatorre was a flight risk and danger to the community.

“The defendant has repeatedly shown this Court that if released there is no guarantee that he will appear for his next scheduled hearing,” the prosecutor argued in a court filing.

“Specifically, the defendant’s bond has been revoked on two separate occasions for failing to appear at scheduled Court hearings.”

The prosecutor said that in two out of the three cases, Alatorre resisted arrest by fleeing from police. In one case, Alatorre allegedly “drove at speeds in excess of 100 mph while refusing to adhere to traffic signals.”

“The defendant has shown by his actions that he poses a significant risk to the community,” the prosecutor argued. “During either of the car chases, innocent bystanders could have been hurt and/or killed due to the defendant’s reckless behavior.”

Prosecutors said Alatorre has committed new crimes while out on bond and that pending cases and bond conditions had no effect on the defendant’s actions.

Despite the objections, a judge granted Alatorre’s request and set his bond at $3,500 — without paying anything at all.

Then the judge released Alatorre on his on own recognizance.

The judge set as conditions of Alatorre’s bond that he must submit to random drug testing, not drive unless he’s properly licensed and insured, have no contact with any law enforcement, contact pretrial services prior to leaving the state and appear at all court appearances.

In July, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered new rules regarding bond, requiring judges to first consider non-monetary conditions of release and require money only if necessary.

If a monetary bond is set, it should not exceed what’s necessary to ensure safety or the defendant’s appearance, the new rules say.

On Sunday, weeks after Alatorre was released, he became one of two suspects in a mass shooting that unfolded about 1:30 a.m. at Tequila KC, a bar near 10th Street and Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Police have identified the victims as Everardo Meza, 29, Alfredo Calderon Jr, 29, Francisco Garcia Anaya, 34, and Martin Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 58.

Alatorre was being held Monday in the Jackson County jail. An extradition hearing is set for Tuesday to determine if he will be handed over to Wyandotte County officials, who have charged him with four counts of murder.

Jackson County prosecutors plan to seek to have his bond revoked in the pending cases in Missouri, a spokesman said.

Another suspect, Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, remains at large.

Suspects
Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, and Javier Alatorre, 23 Courtesy of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department

Released from jail

According to court documents:

Prosecutors had charged Alatorre in November 2017 with felony possession of a controlled substance. He allegedly had 96 pills of Xanax. His bond was set at $2,500 but he was released on his own recognizance.

In March 2018, Alatorre was charged with resisting arrest. Alatorre allegedly failed to stop for police and drove in excess of 100 mph. He failed to obey traffic signals and signs.

Alatorre allegedly failed to appear in court later that month and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant was served on June 8, 2018, and his bond was set at $5,000. Again, he was released on his own recognizance.

In October 2018, Kansas City police tried to pull Alatorre over after they allegedly found him driving a stolen car. Alatorre allegedly fled at high speed and ran through multiple stoplights and stop signs.

Alatorre allegedly abandoned the vehicle in an alley and ran away. Officers allegedly saw Alatorre throw a pill bottle away. Police caught and arrested him. They later determined the bottle allegedly contained a controlled substance.

Prosecutors charged Alatorre in December with tampering with a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, both felonies. He was also charged with a misdemeanor charge of resisting an arrest,

His bond was initially set at $10,000, but was modified a few days later. He was released on his own recognizance.

When Alatorre allegedly failed to show up for a court hearing in March, a warrant was issued for his arrest and his bond was revoked.

Meanwhile, Alatorre also had legal issues in Wyandotte County. He had been charged in March 2018 with attempting to flee from police. He pleaded guilty two months later to eluding, a felony.

He as sentenced to six months in prison, but was instead granted 12 months of probation.

Alatorre allegedly violated his probation relating to traffic offenses. He was extradited to Wyandotte County, where his probation was revoked and he was ordered serve his original sentence.

In August, after spending part of the summer in prison, Alatorre was paroled to Missouri. He filed a motion to reduce his bond later that month.

In 2017, a woman was granted protection orders against Alatorre for her and for a child she had in common with him.

Among the conditions of the protection orders, Alatorre was prohibited from possessing firearms. The protection orders expired in February 2018.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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