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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 25, 2019

KCK Man Sentenced to Four Consecutive Life Terms in Prison, Co-Conspirator Sentenced to 60 Years

Convicted if Kidnapping, Robbing, Terrorizing Three Women in Violent, Hours-Long Crime Spree

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two Kansas City, Kansas, men were sentenced in federal court today for a violent, hours-long crime spree in which they kidnapped, robbed, and terrorized three women.  
Anthony B. Williams, 37, and Jamerl M. Wortham, 34, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes. Williams was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life in federal prison without parole. Wortham was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison without parole. Williams was sentenced as an armed career criminal and “three strikes” violent felon, due to his prior felony convictions.
On Feb. 14, 2019, Williams and Wortham were each found guilty at trial of all 17 counts contained in a federal indictment. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2019 that the statutory definition of a “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague, three of those counts (possession of a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of kidnapping) have been dismissed.
Williams and Wortham were sentenced today on their convictions of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, three counts of kidnapping, one count of carjacking, one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, one count of attempted armed robbery, one count of distribution of PCP, three counts of possession of a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, one count of being felons in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
During the early morning hours of April 9, 2016, Wortham and Williams, along with another man who is not identified in court records, stole a Jaguar in Kansas City, Kansas, then set off to Kansas City, Missouri, with a plan to rob people at ATM machines. While driving around the Westport entertainment district, at approximately 1:30 a.m., the men came across M.M., a woman who was waiting to be picked up by an Uber car. One of the men stepped out of the stolen Jaguar, put his arm around M.M., and corralled her into the vehicle.
They drove to a set of ATMs located in the River Market neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. They waited until a red Toyota Camry pulled up to use the ATM at approximately 2 a.m.  They drove up behind the Camry, where two women, T.J. and Y.C., were attempting to deposit money into the ATM. One of the defendants and the other man approached the Camry, pointed a loaded sawed-off shotgun at the driver and passenger, demanded money, then forced them into the backseat of the Camry. The two men then got in the driver and passenger seats of the vehicle and sped away towards Kansas City, Kansas, with the stolen Jaguar (with M.M. a passenger) following close behind.
Once in Kansas City, Kansas, Williams and Wortham forced all of the victims into the Camry. They took the victims to another ATM in Kansas City, Kansas, and told them to withdraw as much money as they could from their bank accounts. After leaving the ATM, Williams and Wortham forced M.M. and Y.C. to smoke PCP while they drove for hours around the Kansas City metro area.  During the entirety of this time, the victims were consistently threatened with death and bodily harm while the defendants pointed the sawed-off shotgun in the victims’ direction. Williams also indicated he was armed with a handgun. Williams and Wortham intended to find a discrete location in which they could sexually assault the victims.
At about 5 a.m., the men split the victims up into two separate cars – with Wortham in the stolen Jaguar with T.J., and Williams in the stolen Camry with M.M. and Y.C. While they caravanned through Kansas City, Kansas, police officers recognized the stolen Jaguar and engaged it in pursuit. The Jaguar fled at a high rate of speed, lost control, then crashed with T.J. in the passenger seat of the vehicle. After the crash, Wortham fled from the vehicle on foot but was apprehended shortly after and placed under arrest. T.J. was unhurt in the crash. Discovered inside of the vehicle was a loaded Coast to Coast 20-gauge shotgun that had approximately 12-inches of the barrel sawed off, along with the shotgun stock shortened.
In the stolen Camry, Williams and another man drove M.M. and Y.C. throughout the Kansas City metro area in search of drugs and a house to use. At approximately 8 a.m., the other man was dropped off at an unknown location. With only Williams in the vehicle, M.M. found an opportunity to jump out of the Camry at a stop sign, run into a convenience store, and call the police. Soon after, Y.C. also attempted to escape the vehicle, but had to fight Williams to get out of his grasp. Once out of his grasp, Y.C. ran down a residential street, with Williams chasing behind. She used the panic button on her key fob to set off her car alarm, which stopped Williams from pursuing. Y.C. ran for at least three blocks until she found someone to help her, then called the police.
    Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Williams has five prior felony convictions for robbery and attempted robbery, and a prior felony conviction for assault in which he shot two people. Wortham has prior felony convictions for attempted aggravated assault and failure to pay an offender registration fee.


This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Q. McCarther and Alison D. Dunning. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated October 25, 2019