Accused of Tuesday’s triple murders in South KC, man appears before judge again

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brandon Howell, 34, appeared before a Jackson County judge Thursday morning, charged with the murders of three people Tuesday in South Kansas City.

Prosecutors say Howell brutally killed Lorene Hurst, 88, her son, Darrel Hurst, 63, and Susan Choucroun, 69, in an armed robbery in the Woodbridge neighborhood near Wornall and Blue Ridge Blvd.

During his arraignment before Judge Mary Weir, Howell was read the charges against him, which in addition to three counts of first-degree murder, also include 4 counts of armed criminal action, two counts of first degree assault for the injuries suffered by Anne and George Taylor. He faces one count of first-degree burglary, one count of stealing a motor vehicle and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. A judge agreed to the prosecutor's request to deny bond to Howell.

Lorene Hurst, Darrel Hurst and Susan Choucroun were killed on Tuesday by a gunman in So. KC.

Lorene Hurst, Darrel Hurst and Susan Choucroun were killed on Tuesday by a gunman in So. KC.

Police and neighbors told FOX 4 that the three victims killed in the South Kansas City Woodbridge neighborhood were apparently coming to the aid of neighbors Anne and George Taylor after they noticed something wrong. Neighbors say Choucroun and the Hursts reportedly noticed a man attempting to steal the Taylors’ antique Jaguar from their home at One Woodbridge Lane. They say the gunman hot-wired the Jaguar but was having trouble driving it away. Then, the gunman jumped in the Taylors' SUV.  Witnesses say when the gunman realized there were witnesses, he shot them at point-blank range with a shotgun, killing them instantly.

Howell has been in a courtroom many times, with an extensive criminal record. In 2009, at the age of 25, he was acquitted of the murders of two teenagers, Nicholas Travis, 19, and Tabitha Brewer, 16,  who disappeared in 1998.

The couple was last seen with Howell at Brewer's home in April of 1998. Brewer's body has never been found. Travis' body was found in the backyard of a Kansas City, Mo., duplex in the summer of 1998.

Travis and Brewer"I have spoken with the Brewer family this morning and expressed to them that we care deeply about their daughter as well as Nicholas Travis, who I spoke with his parents as well. We care deeply about those two individuals and that we're going to fight for justice," said Jean Peters-Baker, Jackson County Prosecutor, when she announced the charges against Brandon Howell on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, an SUV belonging to Anne and George Taylor, the couple severely beaten in the South Kansas City Woodbridge neighborhood, was later found in the Northland, just blocks from where the Motel 6 assaults took place and a few miles from where Howell was arrested.

peters bakerAt the news conference Wednesday afternoon,  Jean Peters-Baker said she and her team would be working to bring Howell to justice for the families that were suffering.

"They went to bed last night with a nightmare and they woke up to their very worst nightmare and it's true. It's true that three families are struck with an unimaginable grief at the hands of a single individual," Peters-Baker said.

Howell is scheduled to be back in court on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.

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9 comments

  • Janet Hanna

    Oh, if you only knew,……I was so lucky to meet him when he was around 6 years old. After he came over and played for the second time, I made him empty his pockets…….funny how many “small” toys came out. At the time, I was the BAD mom because I told him he could not come over any more. One, Two, Three Points for MOM…..just go with your instinks.

  • Denise Lee

    rot in Hell Brandon. We all Know you killed Tabby and Nick.
    too bad they ley you out to kill again. you could at least tell Tabitha’s family what you did with her
    but I suppose that is some kind of sick power you think you have over them. Richard grissom never told the location of his victims bodies either, and he still got 120 Years.
    You need to be fast tracked to the lethal injection table with no chance for appeal and I hope it
    goes Horribly wrong and you suffer as much as humanly possible.no quick easy death for you
    what a waste of taxpayer time and money to put you in jail and let you appeal your sentence.
    The victims have no chance for appeal. I vote Capital Murder and death within 30 days!!!
    like I sais-rot in HELL you Animal.

  • Frank

    Wow. Just by chance I came across this horrific story. A piece of crap scum bag brutally murdering three innocent elderly folks. I live in Orange County California. Nowhere in our news casts or news papers did we hear of this terrible tragedy. Oh but Hell Yes we heard day & night about the thieving thug who assaulted a police officer and was subsequently shot due to his own stupid actions. And of course Sharpton and Jackson come out to praise and honor a POS common thief. How about coming out to Kansas and try teaching your people to behave? To work for a living, instead of taking from people that have worked hard all their lives. His smirk disgusts me to high hell.