Missouri prosecutors to seek death penalty in killing of court employee and police officer

May 22, 2024, 3:42 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri prosecutors said Wednesday that they intend to seek the death penalty against a Kansas City-area man who is charged with murder in the killings of a court employee who tried to serve an eviction notice on him and a police officer who responded.

Larry Acree, 70, of Independence, is accused of shooting court employee Drexel Mack on Feb. 29, plus two police officers who came to the scene, including Cody Allen, who was killed. Officers returned fire and arrested Acree, who suffered minor injuries.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office filed a notice with the court saying the state will prove there are aggravating circumstances sufficient to warrant the death penalty. Acree is charged with 18 total counts including two of first-degree murder.

According to court papers, Acree owed delinquent taxes dating back to at least 2019. His 9-acre (3.6-hectare) property and three-bedroom home was sold last August for $260,000, and the new owner paid the taxes. A “Notice to Vacate” sign was posted at the property in February, and authorities have said Acree had no right to be there.

At a brief hearing Wednesday, Acree’s attorney, Edward Berrigan of the Missouri State Public Defender’s office, asked for a continuance so that the public defenders who handle death penalty cases could be reassigned, the Kansas City Star reported.

Acree’s next court date is set for July 10 in Independence, a suburb of Kansas City with about 122,000 residents.

Eleven people are currently on death row in Missouri.

National News

Associated Press

New York requiring paid break time for moms who need to pump breast milk at work, under new law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York moms returning to work after giving birth will now get paid break time when they need to pump breast milk at their jobs, under a new law that took effect Wednesday. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the law requires employers in the state to provide a half hour of paid […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Cooler temps and rain could help corral blazes that forced thousands to flee New Mexico village

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Cooler weather — and the chance of rain — could bring some relief but also the risk of danger this week to firefighters battling blazes in southern New Mexico that killed one person, damaged hundreds of structures and forced thousands to evacuate. Strong wind pushed the larger of two wildfires into […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Immigrant families rejoice over Biden’s expansive move toward citizenship, while some are left out

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.S. citizens but, inevitably, some were left out. Claudia Zúniga, 35, married in 2017, or 10 years after her husband came to the United States. He moved […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

Early blast of heat and humidity leaves millions sweltering across the US

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A blast of heat and humidity in the Midwest and Northeast days before the official start of summer put a wet blanket on outdoor activities from festivals to sports camps as officials urged people to take precautions. Cities that opened cooling centers this week advised that Wednesday’s Juneteenth holiday means some […]

13 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

16 hours ago

Associated Press

California man charged with killing gay college student takes the stand

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man charged with killing a gay University of Pennsylvania student in an alleged hate crime six years ago testified Tuesday about how the two men connected on social media and went to a park. It was the last time the victim was seen. Samuel Woodward, 26, took the […]

17 hours ago

Missouri prosecutors to seek death penalty in killing of court employee and police officer