Man charged with second-degree murder after robbery motivated shooting

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Chad Terry's mugshot. Terry has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action after being accused of killing Erik Schwartz in Independence.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Court documents allege that a man was fatally during a suspected robbery while he slept in his vehicle. On Friday, Chad D. Terry Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for his alleged role in killing Erik Schwartz last Wednesday.

Witnesses that were with or were contacted by Terry say he only took a pack of cigarettes from Schwartz after shooting him and threatened to kill the people he fled from the scene with.

Witnesses in the neighborhood say they saw Schwartz park his vehicle in front of his home and also saw the suspected vehicle that Terry drove in the same area about an hour later. After getting minor descriptive details from witnesses at the scene, a detective from the Independence Police Department was contacted by a female who wished to remain anonymous, but claimed to know who killed Schwartz.

She said that Terry had shot Schwartz while he was asleep in his vehicle. She also said that he was with three other people when the crime occurred and that Terry had driven a gold Chevrolet Tahoe from the scene to her house.

She said that once Terry arrived at her house, he appeared ‘proud’ that he shot Schwartz. She said that when Terry left her home he left the single pack of cigarettes he had taken from Schwartz as well as a motorcycle helmet.

The anonymous tipster provided names of the other three people in the car and police made contact with two of them according to a probable cause statement. A female that was with Terry during the crime told detectives that Terry had intended to break into cars while they drove around. When they came across Schwartz, they thought he was asleep and she was sent from their vehicle to check.

When she confirmed that Schwartz was asleep, Terry and another man approached the vehicle. She said she thought Terry was going to steal Schwartz’s Jeep but instead heard a single gunshot. Terry and the other man came back to the vehicle and fled the scene with Terry at the wheel. She also said that Terry threatened to kill her two other men in the vehicle.

One of those men was also interviewed by police and corroborated both women’s stories. Terry was already held in detention but invoked his fifth amendment right when detectives asked him for a statement. His bond has been set at $250,000. Independence police say the investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call the department at (816) 325-7852 or (816) 325-7330.

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    • Andrew Lynch

      That’s a good question, the documents don’t mention whether they robbed anyone else or not. Furthermore, the docs don’t mention if the first witness supplied the cigarettes that Terry allegedly stole, which may be why he doesn’t have robbery charges filed against him. However, the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be brought against others.

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