KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A teenager who admitted to killing a Kansas City realtor will serve up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder and armed criminal action.
On February 28, 2011, 48-year-old Yuri Ives was found dead inside his Kansas City home. Police say Ives had been shot and stabbed numerous times despite no signs of a struggle.
“He was my best friend,” said Matthew Richardson who lived next door to Ives.
In court on Friday, Ali Cubba, the teenager who confessed to the murder asked everyone in the court room for forgiveness.
“My actions that night were so out of character. I couldn’t even recognize myself,” Cubba said, addressing the court.
It’s a plea Ives’ friends say they aren’t buying.
“He was sorry he got caught,” said Deborah Richardson, neighbor and friend of Ives. “He stabbed him over 23 times and shot him twice in the head. At what point is he not a threat?”
Seventeen at the time of the murder and a senior at Oak Park High School, Cubba had no criminal history before meeting Ives on Craigslist, robbing and killing him in his home. It’s a point Cubba’s parents point out when asking the judge for leniency.
“He’s a young man who’s made a grave mistake,” said David Byrd, Cubba’s step-father when addressing the judge during the sentencing. “But he is not a criminal-minded person in general.”
Cubba’s mother also spoke at the sentencing.
“I just want to say that I love my son very much,” she said. “And he really is a kind person.”
It’s those factors that swayed the judge to shave three years off the plea agreement. Before handing down her sentence, the Jackson County judge said she believed Cubba is a young man of promise. She admits he made one mistake, but says it was a horrific one to make. Ives’ friends say the sentence doesn’t fit the crime.
“Absolutely not. He’s going to be out in 11 years and we have no friend,” said Richardson.
Cubba was sentenced to 15 years for second degree murder and 10 years for armed criminal action. The sentences will run together and Cubba will get credit for time served.