Jury Convicts Two KC Men of Kidnapping, Murder
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Kansas City, Mo., men were convicted by a federal trial jury today of charges related to the kidnapping and murder of another man.
Raynal King, 26, and Howard R. Ross, III, also known as “Lil’ Howard” and “Shooter,” 23, both of Kansas City, were found guilty of multiple counts related to the carjacking, kidnapping and murder of Jaime Patton on Sept. 6, 2016.
King and Ross were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of aiding and abetting a kidnapping resulting in death, one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a kidnapping that resulted in a first degree felony murder, one count of robbery of a motor vehicle (carjacking) resulting in death, one count of using a firearm in furtherance of carjacking that resulted in a first degree felony murder, and one count of aiding and abetting each other as felons in the possession of a firearm.
Patton was returning home from the hospital, where he had been caring for a family member, sometime after 5 a.m. that day when King and Ross kidnapped him and stole his 2014 Jeep Patriot. They held Patton at gunpoint and drove him around in his Jeep to ATM machines, attempting to force him to provide his PIN number for his debit card so they could withdraw cash from his bank account.
Patton was unable to provide a working PIN number to withdraw cash. While held at gunpoint by King and Ross in the Mazuma Credit Union parking lot, he called his wife to obtain the working PIN number, but he was unable to do so. King and Ross became upset with the lack of cooperation from Patton and shot him in his upper thigh to make sure he knew they were not playing around.
King and Ross then drove Patton in his Jeep south on Holmes Road while they discussed what to do with him. At approximately 6:30 a.m., shortly after traveling south on Holmes Road through the intersection with 135th Street and further out of the city, Patton jumped out of his Jeep while it was moving. Patton was shot multiple times while attempting to jump and he fell to the roadway. King and Ross then fled from the area in Patton’s Jeep, leaving him to die on the side of the road.
According to evidence introduced during the trial, King and Ross began planning to commit a robbery a couple of days earlier. King had recently purchased a silver Pontiac Grand Prix but was unable to make his car payments or pay the sales tax fees. Text messages between King and Ross (recovered from their phones) shows that only days before the kidnapping King communicated with Ross about his problems and about a potential robbery.
Ross, who was on state probation for robbery at the time of the crime, was held in the Jackson County Jail after his arrest. While in the Jackson County Jail, Ross made multiple recorded phone calls to others regarding disposing of various items of evidence. Ross discussed with friends and family the location of his iPhone, which led to search warrants and the recovery of Ross’s iPhone and further evidence on his iPhone.
Investigators recovered evidence from Ross’s iPhone that showed weeks before the kidnapping Ross had a Springfield Armory .45-caliber pistol. Patton was murdered with a .45-caliber bullet. Ross took photos of himself carrying the pistol; he messaged those photos to others and posted photos on social media sites. Shortly after the murder, Ross attempted to sell the pistol to an acquaintance.
When forensic examiners were able to search King’s Android phone, several messages, photographs, and relevant Internet searches were recovered as evidence. King took photos of the stolen Jeep and messaged with others in an attempt to sell the Jeep to obtain sufficient money to make his own car payment on his Silver Pontiac Grand Prix before it would be repossessed.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for just under three hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.
Under federal statutes, King and Ross each face mandatory life imprisonment. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jess E. Michaelsen and Patrick C. Edwards. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.