Crime

Two KC brothers ordered to stand trial in slaying of Olathe rapper

Dale Willis (left) and James Willis at their hearing on Tuesday.
Dale Willis (left) and James Willis at their hearing on Tuesday. deulitt@kcstar.com

Two Kansas City brothers on Wednesday were ordered to stand trial in the shooting death of a 24-year-old Olathe man.

A Johnson County judge ruled after two days of preliminary hearing testimony that there is probable cause to try Dale Willis and James Willis on a charge of first-degree murder.

They are accused of killing Jurl Carter last September outside an Overland Park bar near 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue.

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

During testimony, several witnesses said they saw Dale Willis punch Carter in the face and knock him to the ground outside the bar.

As Carter attempted to drive away, someone standing just outside the car shot him, witnesses said.

One witness identified James Willis as the shooter. Another said Dale Willis fired the shots.

In testimony Wednesday, two other witnesses said they saw Dale Willis punch Carter. One described an exchange of words between Carter and Dale Willis before the punch was thrown.

Dale Willis apparently was upset because he thought Carter almost hit him with his car, according to testimony.

No one who testified Wednesday could identify who shot Carter.

Prosecutors also presented testimony about a fingerprint found on Carter’s car that investigators matched to Dale Willis.

A firearms expert testified that .45-caliber shell casings found at the crime scene were all fired by the same Glock weapon.

No guns were found as a result of the murder investigation. But an analysis of data later found on James Willis’ cellphone showed Internet searches for .45-caliber ammunition and Glock accessories.

The actual shooting was captured on surveillance cameras outside the bar.

While not detailed enough to identify individuals, Overland Park Detective Laurie Bridges testified it shows Dale Willis punching Carter. It then shows Carter starting to drive away before James Willis allegedly walks up and fires into his car.

According to an autopsy, Carter was shot in the chest four times.

Also on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that at the time of the shooting, there was an ongoing federal investigation involving Dale Willis.

As part of the investigation, surveillance cameras were installed outside houses associated with Willis, according to testimony.

Video from those cameras show Dale Willis driving a red pickup like one described by witnesses at the scene of the shooting.

Video also showed James Willis with a gun about a week before Carter was killed.

It also showed James Willis about 10 hours before the shooting in clothes that matched those worn by the shooting suspect according to some witnesses.

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