Crime

Prosecutors presenting evidence in homicide of Olathe rapper Jurl Carter

Dale M. Willis looked toward his brother, James A. Willis, in court Tuesday in Olathe. The two are charged with with first-degree murder in the death of Jurl Carter outside a bar in the 7100 block of West 75th Street in Overland Park.
Dale M. Willis looked toward his brother, James A. Willis, in court Tuesday in Olathe. The two are charged with with first-degree murder in the death of Jurl Carter outside a bar in the 7100 block of West 75th Street in Overland Park. deulitt@kcstar.com

Testimony got underway Tuesday in the preliminary hearing for two Kansas City brothers accused of killing an Olathe man last September in Overland Park.

Jurl Carter, 24, was shot to death as he attempted to drive from the parking lot of Jim Kilroy’s Roxy Bar in the 7100 block of West 75th Street, according to previous statements from police and witnesses.

Dale M. Willis, 33, and James A. Willis, 28, are charged in Johnson County District Court with first-degree murder in Carter’s death.

Carter was an aspiring rapper who performed under the names Yunglyfe Carter and Bo Boogy.

Dale Willis is a rapper known as Poppa Willo. He is president of Duced Out Records based in Kansas City.

A man  who was with Carter at the bar that night testified that they were outside in the parking lot when he saw Carter being punched in the face.

The man said the man who punched Carter had performed earlier inside the bar under the name Poppa Willo.

On Tuesday, the man identified Dale Willis as that man.

After he was knocked down, Carter “stumbled” to his car. The man said Carter told him “I got this. I got something.”

Carter started backing his car away and the man testified that Dale Willis and another man walked alongside.

Dale Willis said “that’s not a good idea.”

That’s when the other man begin firing shots into the car, the man said.

The shooter had long dreadlocks, but the man said he couldn’t identify the man.

When the two suspects ran off, the man said, he went to help Carter. He lifted Carter out and put him on the ground.

“He was gasping for air,” the man said.

The man said Carter had several wounds in his chest, and he called 911.

The man said he didn’t see anything that would have led up to a confrontation.

“If there was an issue, he would have made it known to me,” the man said.

Another witness, Terry Stewart, testified that he gave James Willis a ride to the Roxy that night to see Dale Willis perform as a rapper.

On the way, James Willis said Dale had gotten into a dispute with someone, but that the person had left.

Stewart said when he parked near the bar, James talked on the phone with Dale, who said he was coming out.

Stewart said he saw someone come out of the bar, get a gun out of a car, and put it in his waistband.

James Willis then got out and went to find his brother.

Stewart said he heard gunshots and drove away.

He was driving down Metcalf Avenue when a vehicle came up behind him and flashed its headlights.

Stewart stopped. The other vehicle also stopped. It was a red pickup truck driven by Dale Willis. James Willis was in the passenger seat, Stewart testified.

Dale Willis asked Stewart to trade cars, and Stewart agreed.

Dale Willis said he had to go back to the bar to get a friend.

Stewart drove James Willis back to Kansas City.

James Willis told him that he had heard bullets flying past his head, but he didn’t say anything else about the shooting, according to Stewart.

The day’s final witness, a 20-year-old woman, testified that Dale Willis was the person she saw shoot Carter as he was driving away.

She testified that she also saw Dale Willis punch Carter before the shooting.

She identified him in the courtroom Tuesday, but a few days after the shooting, she could not pick him out of a photo lineup.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday.

The hearing was held under extraordinary security, with numerous deputies in and around the courtroom. At least one deputy was carrying an assault rifle.

Because of concerns about the safety of witnesses, documents provided to the defense before Tuesday’s hearing identified them only as John Does.

Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Riebli said that the precautions were taken because of online threats Dale Willis made about threatening “snitches.”

Willis’s attorney said they were rap lyrics.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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