By Paul Thompson
July 12, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Friday, July 7 that 33-year-old James Rhymer has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder David Mendez, along with a string of other violent offenses.
The murder charge stems from an incident that occurred near the intersection of 12th and Ewing in November of 2014. Witnesses told police that Rhymer fired upon the victim as Mendez was seated in the back seat of a black Chevrolet truck. Court records show that Rhymer later tried to burn and dispose of the truck and Mendez’s body at a rural location to the south of Kansas City.
Authorities eventually tracked down both the burned-out truck and the remains of Mendez’s body, thanks to a witness who was brought along by Rhymer to help dispose of the evidence. When police attempted to take Rhymer into custody for the crime, he armed and barricaded himself inside of his Kansas City apartment. After initiating an Operation 100, however, police were able to bring Rhymer into custody without further incident.
In addition to Murder in the 2nd Degree, Rhymer was charged with Assault in the 1st Degree, Kidnapping and three counts of Armed Criminal Action. According to the press release put out by the Prosecutor’s Office, all counts will run concurrently. Rhymer was found guilty of the charges in April of 2017.
According to reporting in the Northeast News, Rhymer had previously been charged with 2nd Degree Murder and Armed Criminal Action in the 2012 shooting death of Kansas City resident James Conklin on N. Wheeling Ave., at the residence of Rhymer’s ex-girlfriend. Prosecutors ultimately dismissed the charges after witness statements proved inconsistent.