Crime

Man is accused in Nov. 1 shooting death of Platte County resident

Zakary F. Mergy
Zakary F. Mergy

Authorities have accused a 27-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man in the Nov. 1 shooting death of a Platte County resident.

Zakary F. Mergy was charged Monday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the slaying of Francisco Javier Vargas III, 27. A relative found his body inside his residence in the 6600 block of Twin Springs Road, just north of Parkville off Missouri 9.

Mergy was arrested four days after the Metropolitan Area Major Case Squad was activated. He is being held, with bond set at $500,000.

According to court records, a family member went to the home and found Vargas lying face down in a pool of blood. Investigators later learned that a 2008 Dodge Charger that had been seen at the residence was registered to a relative of Mergy.

Investigators interviewed Mergy several times about the shooting. Mergy allegedly admitted he knew Vargas had been shot with a Springfield .40-caliber XDM handgun. Mergy also told investigators that someone gave him the gun after the shooting and that he later wrapped the weapon in several plastic bags before burying it in his mother’s back yard.

Detectives later recovered the handgun from the back yard of Mergy’s mother. The cartridge cases and bullets recovered from the crime scene came from that gun. DNA test results on the gun, trigger and magazine revealed a match to Mergy, according to court records.

While executing a search warrant at Mergy’s residence, investigators found a jar that a witness said he had seen at Vargas’ residence two days before Vargas’ murder. A witness told investigators that Vargas used the jar to store marijuana that he was about to sell, court records stated.

If convicted, Mergy could be sentenced to life in prison, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd.

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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