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Press Release

KC Man Pleads Guilty, KC Woman Sentenced Following Fatal Shooting During a Drug Deal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Cover-up Story Unravels When Defendant Brags About Killing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man and woman who were involved in a fatal shooting during a drug deal, which they attempted to cover up by falsely claiming an attempted rape, both appeared in federal court today.

Orval L. Johnson, 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to three counts of distributing cocaine, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, and one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Co-defendant Latasha M. Alexander, 27, was sentenced in a separate hearing to eight months in federal prison without parole. Alexander, who pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, has been in federal custody since her bond was revoked in October 2018.

By pleading guilty today, Johnson admitted that he sold cocaine to an undercover detective with the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department on three separate occasions in 2017. During the third drug transaction, Johnson was armed with a loaded Glock .357-caliber pistol with an extended magazine. Johnson told the undercover detective that someone recently tried to rob him and threatened to kill him and his girlfriend. “I had to kill (him),” Johnson said, “I blew half his … face off.”

According to court documents, Johnson was referring to a homicide investigation in the Knob Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. Alexander falsely claimed that a man, identified in court documents as “R.B.,” came to her residence on March 9, 2017, to smoke marijuana and tried to rape her. She told law enforcement officers that R.B. fired a shot at her, then she shot and killed him in self-defense. Investigators believed her lie, according to court documents, until Johnson bragged about the killing to the undercover detective.

Alexander later admitted that she falsely reported the attempted rape in order to conceal Johnson’s drug-trafficking offense. Alexander pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony on Oct. 23, 2018.

Johnson and Alexander told investigators that R.B. came to their apartment to purchase cocaine. He attempted to rob Johnson, and a struggle ensued. Johnson yelled at Alexander to grab the gun; she retrieved a firearm and shot R.B., who then attacked her. Johnson grabbed the gun and shot R.B. several times, killing him. According to court documents, both Johnson and Alexander consistently claimed self-defense, which is not refuted by the physical evidence at the scene.

Johnson was arrested on March 14, 2017. The day after his admission to the undercover detective, the undercover detective contacted Johnson to arrange for the purchase of 3.5 grams of cocaine for $170.  Johnson was arrested when he left a nearby residence on his way to conduct the drug transaction. He had a Glock .357-caliber semi-automatic pistol, which had been reported as stolen, in his right front pants pocket and 3.39 grams of cocaine in his left coat pocket.

Johnson admitted to law enforcement officers that he had been making deliveries of cocaine five to 10 times a day, every day since November 2016. Johnson said he had been using about a gram of cocaine a day since November of 2016.

Under federal statutes, Johnson 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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Caine. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated April 30, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses