Botched drug robbery leads to murder charges against trio of men

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Willie Gibson Jr. (left) Marcus Williams (right). Editor's note: Larry Word Jr's. mugshot has not been supplied

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Detectives utilized cell phone records that pointed them in the direction of three suspects who are now charged with the second-degree murder of James Jackson. Jackson was found dead in his vehicle at 20th and Denver on the morning of July 11.

The three charged are: Marcus M. Williams, 24, Larry L. Word Jr., 29 and Willie J. Gibson Jr., 24. They were all in the same vehicle when they were picked up by Independence Police during a traffic stop on July 15. They were arrested on scene for outstanding warrants.

According to a probable cause statement, a cell phone was found at the original crime scene belonging to Jackson. He received two calls from the same number earlier in the overnight hours.

Detectives interviewed a woman that the number belonged to and she informed them that the phone was hers, but that Gibson used the phone and he was her boyfriend. She also said Gibson and her older brother, Word, had borrowed her gray Ford Expedition

When interviewed by detectives, Word said they wanted to purchase drugs from Jackson and Gibson hatched a plan to rob him. Gibson told Williams that if he simply pointed a gun at Jackson that he would give him everything he had.

Word said he drove them to the area of 20th and Denver and let Williams out of the car before moving it 3-4 houses away from where Jackson had parked on Denver. He then let Gibson out, who made contact with Jackson on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Word said that Williams then approached the vehicle from the passenger’s side, shouted at Jackson, demanding money and fired a single shot into the vehicle. Jackson drove away, striking the gray Expedition before crashing out down the street. Jackson was later determined to have died from a gunshot wound and a 9mm shell casing was found at the scene.

The three fled the scene in the Expedition. Detectives were later able to match up paint markings from both vehicles. Gibson had told his girlfriend that someone had hit her vehicle at 35th and Prospect the night before as an alibi

The three are all additionally charged with one count of first-degree attempted robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. Williams is detained on $250,000 bond, Gibson on $200,000 bond and Word is held on $150,000 bond according to court records.

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