Death Penalty Sought for Suspect in Killing Mo. Police Officer, Court Worker

May 22, 2024
A grand jury indicted Larry Acree on 18 felonies relating to the Feb. 29 shooting of Independence Police Officer Cody Allen and Jackson County civil process server Drexel Mack during an eviction.

A prosecutor told a judge Wednesday that they intend to seek the death penalty for Larry Acree, the man accused of fatally shooting an Independence police officer and a Jackson County court employee during an eviction.

In a brief hearing Wednesday afternoon, Jeremy Baldwin, assistant prosecuting attorney, told the presiding judge that the prosecutor’s officer planned to file the death penalty notice.

Acree’s attorney, Edward Berrigan of the Missouri State Public Defender’s office, asked for a continuance so that the public defenders who handle such cases could be reassigned.

A grand jury has indicted Acree on 18 felonies relating to the shooting that killed Independence police officer Cody Allen and Jackson County civil process server Drexel Mack on Feb. 29. Two other Independence officers were also injured in the shooting.

Platte County Judge Megan B. Benton, assigned to preside over the case, scheduled Acree to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. July 10 at the Jackson County Courthouse in Independence.

Prosecutors in the Kansas City region have rarely sought the death penalty in recent years. In March 2023, Clay County prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the case against Joshua Rocha. He was charged with first-degree murder in the 2022 shooting death of North Kansas City police officer Daniel Vasquez, and is scheduled to go to trial in September 2025.

Eleven people are on death row in Missouri. Those convictions were out of Butler, Camden, Carter, Cole, Green, Jefferson, Phelps, St. Charles and St. Louis counties, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

One man faces a June 11 execution date.

The state has ramped up its use of the death penalty, executing four people last year and a man last month.


©2024 The Kansas City Star.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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