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Kansas City man sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sometimes tempers get out of control during the ups and downs of young relationships. High school students often argue over the affections of their intended or hopeful boyfriend or girlfriend. Passions and moods are quick to ignite and sometimes actions are not thought through and a temporary problem ends with permanent results.

Unfortunately, a 20-year-old Kansas City man's involvement in a drive-by shooting, killing a 17-year-old Park Hill High School student has come to a close. The driver in the incident will spend 25 years behind bars for driving the car used in a fatal drive-by shooting.

In October 2011, the man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. At his sentencing hearing last month, a Platte County, Missouri, Circuit Court Judge sentenced the man to 25 years in prison.

According to court records, the July 2010 fatal shooting began as a dispute over a girl and ended with the death of the 17-year-old student, who was not the intended victim of the shooting.

Prosecutors allege the 17-year-old victim and his friend went to the home of the Kansas City man who fired the fatal shot the evening of the shooting. While they were there, the victim's friend and the shooter had an argument over a girl.

Later the same night, prosecutors say the 20-year-old man drove his Ford Contour around Parkville, Missouri, looking for the 17-year-old's vehicle, a Ford Thunderbird. According to court records, the shooter and another teenager were passengers in the vehicle.

When the trio located the Thunderbird, the 20-year-old defendant allegedly pulled up next to it at a red light, and one of the passengers fired a .30-.30 rifle at the Thunderbird. The shot passed through the driver's door and struck the 17-year-old victim's left side.

The victim's friend, the intended target, steered the vehicle from the passenger's seat into the parking lot of a nearby grocery store.

The shooter also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. A judge sentenced him to life in prison in 2011. The third person riding in the 20-year-old man's vehicle was not charged with a crime.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "25-year sentence for 20-year-old man in Parkville killing," Feb. 16, 2012

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