Charges filed in June 30 Northeast homicide

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office has charged 24-year-old Kansas City, Kansas man Gari A. Mansaw with 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault and two counts of Armed Criminal Action in relation to a fatal shooting in the Historic Northeast on June 30, 2018.

Court records indicate that Kansas City Police Department officers responded the vicinity of 9th and Chestnut just before 5 a.m. on June 30 after a report that a victim was down in the street. Once on scene, officers encountered a conscious victim who told police he had been beaten with a brick. An inspection of the surrounding area revealed a second victim, Stephanie Davis, who had been fatally shot in the passenger seat of a nearby Honda CRV.

Charging documents released by the Prosecutor’s Office show that the living male victim was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, as he was in no condition to be interviewed. Meanwhile, police obtained a search warrant for the Honda CRV. In the execution of that warrant, DNA evidence, fingerprints, hinge lifts and spent shell casings were recovered. The evidence was strong enough for a medical examiner to rule Davis’s death as a homicide.

Detectives also recovered two cell phones inside the vehicle, with one of them determined to belong to Davis. The family of the victim provided a passcode to open the device, which allowed authorities to review recent communications. A frequent contact was listed as Gary W. in the contact list; those contacts included missed calls to and from the victim in the lead-up to the homicide. One incoming call from Gary W.’s phone came in at 3:41 a.m. on June 30, just over an hour before police were dispatched to the crime scene. Police were subsequently able to determine that the phone was connected to a man who goes by the name of Gari Watson, and whose real name was Gari A. Mansaw.

In total, Davis called the Gary W. phone number nine times leading up to the homicide, and texted it over 600 times in the year prior. Davis called no other phone number in the hours before her death.

Police utilized City cameras, surveillance photos and license plate readers to tie two vehicles to the crime scene: the aforementioned Honda CRV was spotted at a local business at 9th and Prospect at 3:34 a.m., and a dark, four-door Chevy Trail Blazer with a Kansas license plate – eventually determined to be registered to Mansaw – was seen near Independence Ave. and Prospect at 3:36 a.m. Neighbors living around the crime scene, which is only a few blocks away from both locations, told authorities that they heard gunshots sometime around 4:00 a.m.

The living victim, whose jaw was wired shut, later used a tablet to provide a short account of what happened on June 30. The victim confirmed that he had been with Davis on the night of her murder, saying that he had driven her to meet with a man he knew as “Gary.” According to the victim, he knew that Davis owed Gary money, and stated that the meet-up was an effort to purchase pills. The victim managed to positively identify Gari Mansaw in a photo lineup.

By July 7, police had obtained a court order for the Gary W. phone number, gaining access to subscriber information, texts, data, and call records. Those call records revealed that the majority of the number’s activity occurred at an address in Wyandotte County. A KCPD Illegal Firearms Squad team responded to the address on July 9, where they located the four-door Chevy Trailblazer. The vehicle was towed, and Mansaw was subsequently taken into custody on July 11.

Prosecutors have requested a bond of $250,000 in this case.

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