Nearly five months after suspected crime of passion, man charged with murder

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Prosecutors have charged a suspect, who says he shot and killed a Kansas City, Kan. man after finding him in bed with his longtime girlfriend. Nicholas L. Cannon, 28, faces second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges following the deadly shooting of Justin Sneegas that happened five months ago in Independence.

On Monday the suspect's lawyer learned his client was being charged, and for the first time we're hearing from Sneegas' mother.

"It's been extremely difficult, Justin and I were very close," Linda Sneegas said.

She said her son was a staple in family gatherings, and his personality has been missed.

"He was very lovable and very genuine," Linda Sneegas said. "He would always come over for Sunday dinner with the family and everything, so it's a big void in our life."

Police say Cannon confessed to shooting Sneegas after finding him naked in bed with Cannon's longtime girlfriend. The deadly shooting happened at the woman's parent's house in front of her and Cannon's four-year-old daughter.

Cannon was initially questioned and released, but now a warrant's been issued for his arrest after prosecutors charged him Monday. The charge is some comfort for Sneegas' mother, who remembers her son as a courageous, caring cancer survivor, who cherished his family and loved animals. She'd like to see Cannon exhibit some culpability for her son's death.

"I don't have any hatred towards Nick, but I feel like he's never shown any kind of remorse or responsibility for this," she said.

According to a probable cause statement, Cannon told police he fired three gunshots because Sneegas was reaching for a bedside drawer where Cannon knew the homeowner kept a gun. Police did not find a weapon, but Cannon's lawyer, Pat Peters, says his client believed his life was in danger.

"A reasonable person in that situation would believe they were in imminent danger or death or serious physical injury, which in Missouri means you get to shoot in self-defense," Peters said.

In the meantime, Linda Sneegas keeps a candle burning and keeps praying for justice for her son Justin.

"He (Cannon) needs to pay for the crime in some way," she said.

Peters told FOX 4 he expects that Cannon will turn himself in to Independence police on Tuesday. Prosecutors will request a $150,000 bond for him.

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25 comments

    • rico

      Really DeeAnn stranger just dropping by with 4 yr old and gun what part don’t u get that’s family to him he has every right to just drop by and the 4 yr old can’t go to nana’s house cause the responsible man that really was a sytanger that just drpped by and decided to strangely take his clothes off with a married women now because of Justine not caring the lol girl and the son in law they consider as a son can’t just come by now…really

  • Jim Sneegas

    A reasonable person would expect some sort of privacy in a girls home in a girls bedroom. A reasonable person would not expect a man to enter the bed room with a gun and a child in tow in the very early morning.A reasonable person awakened by this person might reach for his glasses on the side stand to see who the hell was coming into the room. A reasonable person would not enter a house and a bedroom in the early morning with a gun and a child in tow unless he was looking for and ready for trouble. There wasn’t much reason in Nick’s head when he went looking for his girl friend………Only Rage!

  • artie43

    Seems like the wrong person was shot. And who’s house was it anyway? Why didn’t this woman come forth and explain to all what had happened. Seems like the woman is just a guilty as the shooter and must be a real low life. Sad that a man lost his life over a cheap and trashy slut.

  • Terry Roberts

    Just saying, why would he be carrying a gun into that house with his daughter in tow even if he was on terms with the family to be able to enter? He says that he knew the homeowner kept a gun in that night stand, so was it his g/f room or was she doing the deed in her parents bed? Even if the guy was turning to the nightstand he could watch him to see if he was opening the drawer or just reaching for something else or maybe he was reaching for his clothes on the floor by the night stand. He also could have seen them in bed and taken his daughter and backed out and left. This was senseless and only a lawyer comes up with the scared and protecting himself bit, but that is the lawyers job. I am sure the prosecution will be thinking along my lines tho. Just wondering why in the heck they waited 5 months to make charges? Oh, that’s the prosecutor that said it was useless to do rape charges in Maryville, now I know.

  • Amy

    The culprit in all of this is the cheating girlfriend. I hope she doesn’t sleep at night. She is the reason 2 people lost their lives… The one shot and the one now facing murder charges. No he was not right to shoot him. But she put everybody in that situation. People go to prison for masterminding murders and crimes who never actually did anything. Why doesn’t she get in some sort of trouble? She’s the root of this.

  • esop Kobbelotski

    It will all come out in court and we will see just how many bad decisions were made that night. Nick has blood on his hands. I really hope he does time, a long time, maybe he can find another girlfriend in prison.

  • Harley

    Anonymous, If you were to follow the whole story then you would have known that where they where was her parents house. Then you would have also read that he did have his daughter with him and that it was at 5am in the morning… Those are all STATED in previous articles. Justin Sneegas was very dear to my heart and was the most kind hearted person you’d ever meet. The girlfriend lied and said she didn’t have a boyfriend she has also cheated before. Nick bragged his child out of bed at 5am and grabbed his gun (clearly expecting trouble) went to her parents house and found them in bed together.. Now this is where the story gets fishy, Tiffani the girlfriend claims she ran into the bathroom and hides.. So she leaves this innocent man (Justin) and her baby daddy (Nick) out there with her child? Any person would have broken it up and tried to divert the attention and break it up.. Or I don’t know take you child and her it out of the line of fire LITERALY! Nick expected trouble that night.. She never came home so he dragged his child out at 5am bringing a gun looking for his drunk baby mama.. then shoots an innocent man claiming he was “in fear for his safety” he is the one that was awake and alert and armed. Justin was in a dead sleep when rudely awaken in the middle of the night so him coming to his senses and see whats going on he reaches for his glasses.. Nick was the alert one he had the gun he could have said don’t move I’m armed and went to go make sure there were no weapons or what he was reaching for.. Many different ways that could have went. That’s just a lie that he is telling he knew exactly what he was doing.. If it were self defense why would he fled the scene after shooting him? then go into hiding.. If it were self defense you would have called the cops imminently not run and hide. #justiceforjustinsneegas

  • Aimless

    you know from the outside looking in it seems to me like a whole lot of unnecessary drama and people passing judgement without knowing all the details,…I mean unless you were there,… u truly don’t know,.. and it’s insane that you think that you have some kinda super powers that allow you to KNOW what all happened that night,… ARE YOU GOD????????????… For GOD can hear a persons thoughts and feelings,…. GOD see’s all,…. GOD is the ONE who will judge us in the end…. we’re not to pass judgement. So to the Sneegrass family,… my deepest sympathy… but holding onto so much hate because of it,… will only destroy you… I hope the best for both families,… and to all those involved… god bless
    Amy