A Kansas City man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for his involvement in a rolling gun battle on the streets of Northeast Kansas City that resulted in the killing of two men in March 2021 near the intersection of Monroe and Smart Avenues.
Vontez G. Howard was sentenced to 25 years on each 2nd Degree Murder conviction, and 10 years on four Armed Criminal Action charges. That 10-year sentence was set to run consecutively to the two 25-year sentences for a total of 60 years. Sentences for Unlawful Use
of a Weapon and Robbery 1st Degree were also set to run concurrent to other charges. Howard was convicted by a Jackson County jury in April.
According to court records, Kansas City police responded March 1, 2021, on a reported shooting in the area of Norton Avenue and Anderson. Upon arrival at the intersection of Smart and Monroe, officers located two individuals, later determined to be Kyle Gerhardt and Kristopher Lunsford-Barrett, inside a grey Lincoln Town Car that had hit a tree and was on fire.
Fire crews extinguished the blaze and police detectives determined the two victims had died of gunshot wounds prior to crashing their car.
Kansas City detectives initiated an extensive investigation, analyzing area video, phones, DNA evidence and ballistics. They tracked a suspect vehicle and established connections between
the defendants and victims near the time of the fatal shootings. Video surveillance showed how the defendants pursued the victims until the victim’s vehicle crashed.
Earl L. Dunn III of Kansas City was also charged in the crime spree. He remains in the Jackson County Detention Center awaiting a March 2024 trial date.
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