KC man pleads guilty to robbing Independence Ave. Taco Bell at gunpoint

A Kansas City, Mo., man who was charged in two separate federal indictments pleaded guilty in federal court today to the armed robberies of a local business and a family in their residence.

Chase M. Murphy, 20, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to two counts of robbery and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. By pleading guilty today, Murphy admitted that he used a firearm to rob the Taco Bell at 5925 Independence Ave., Kansas City, Mo., on May 28, 2019.

A brick was thrown through the drive-through window of the Taco Bell, shattering the glass. Murphy and another person, both carrying handguns, entered the restaurant through the broken window. They pointed their guns at the heads of two employees and ordered one to open the cash register.

They took $300 from the register and fled through the broken window. Murphy also admitted, in a separate and unrelated case, that he robbed a family in their home at gunpoint with co-defendant Cameron E. Scott, 20, of Kansas City, Mo.

Scott pleaded guilty on June 2, 2021, to one count of robbery and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Scott and Murphy, along with an unidentified third man, robbed a group of three juveniles and four adults at gunpoint on March 22, 2020. The three men forced their way into a residence in the 8100 block of Wayne Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., and pointed firearms at multiple victims, mostly members of the same family. They held one of the victims at gunpoint while demanding money and marijuana.

The three men stole $450, marijuana, a rifle and a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, then left the residence. Officers saw a car matching the description a witness gave of the robbers’ vehicle. Three men got out of the vehicle and ran into a residence in the 9200 block of Indiana Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. Soon afterward, the driver of the vehicle returned to the car and left.

Officers attempted to follow the vehicle but lost sight of it. Scott and Murphy were seen leaving from the back of the residence. When officers announced themselves, they fled into a wooded area. A short time later, Scott and Murphy were seen walking in the tree line near 93rd Street and Grandview Road. Officers tried to approach them, but they fled on foot again. Officers gave chase and ultimately found Scott and Murphy hiding in a creek bed.

Officers searched the residence on Indiana Avenue. In the attic, they found a black suitcase with a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol (which matched the description of the firearm taken during the robbery) and a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Under federal statutes, Murphy is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashleigh A. Ragner. They were investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Raytown, Mo., Police Department and the FBI as part of Operation LeGend.

Operation LeGend is a federal partnership with local law enforcement to address the increase in homicides and violent crime in Kansas City, Mo., in 2020. The operation honors the memory of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, one of the youngest fatalities during a record-breaking year of homicides and shootings. Additional federal agents were assigned to the operation from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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