KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in an armed carjacking that led to a high-speed chase in which he collided with another vehicle and killed another motorist.
Derrell M. Wade, 20, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Friday, Jan. 7, to one count of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Co-defendants Michael A. Brown, 20, and Curtis R. Daniels, 19, both of Kansas City, Mo., also have pleaded guilty to carjacking. Brown and Daniels both have been sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole.
Wade and his co-defendants participated in a carjacking that occurred at approximately 10:35 p.m. on Aug. 24. Wade pressed the barrel of his gun against the forehead of the victim, identified in court documents as “T.R.,” and demanded the keys to his gold 2007 Prius. Another person took T.R.’s cell phone from his hand. T.R. was repeatedly struck in the back with an unknown object by a third person, and told to stay on his knees. The three men then fled in T.R.’s vehicle.
T.R. immediately contacted law enforcement, and used his wife’s cell phone to track his stolen cell phone, using the Find My Phone app. Police officers saw the stolen Prius driving southbound on Lister Avenue, passing over the main thoroughfare of East 23rd Street, at about 11:09 p.m. the same day. Officers pulled behind the vehicle, which was being driven by Wade, and the vehicle accelerated a high rate of speed away from the officers. Officers activated their emergency equipment and initiated a pursuit of the vehicle.
The stolen vehicle traveled at speeds up to 75 miles per hour and ran several stop signs during the pursuit. After running the stop sign at 23rd Street and Lawn Avenue, the Prius collided with another vehicle. This collision resulted in the fatality of an occupant from that vehicle and injuries to another person.
Wade attempted to run away but fell to the ground. As he was falling, he pulled a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and threw it in the grass.
Brown got out of the passenger side rear door of the Prius and began running toward Elmwood Avenue. He was found hiding near a grill in a residential backyard and arrested.
Daniels, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Prius, was arrested without incident.
If the court accepts the binding plea agreement, Wade will be sentenced to 13 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be held on June 2, 2022.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Morgan. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.
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.