22-year-old man charged with murders says he didn’t want witnesses

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced on Thursday that charges have been filed in connection to  last week's triple homicide.

22-year-old Joseph Nelson has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action and one count of burglary in connection to the killings of Shannon Rollins, Bianca Fletcher and infant Joseph Fletcher.

Shannon Rollins, and Bianca and Joseph Fletcher

Shannon Rollins, and Bianca and Joseph Fletcher

Baker did confirm that Nelson is the ex-boyfriend of Bianca, but would not comment on his connection to Shannon or the infant killed.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker

Baker says witnesses were key in solving this case and referred to them as "heroes."

"We are not going to stand by idly and let crime happen," Baker said.

According to court documents, Nelson shot Bianca Fletcher and her infant son Joseph along with Shannon Rollins to death at a home in the 5900 block of E. 84th Street on September 8.

Prosecutors say that Nelson went to Bianca's home on the evening of the killings to "chill" but an argument erupted between the two. Nelson claimed Bianca threw a diaper or diaper box at him, which hit him in the head. Nelson told one of the witnesses he, "Lost it," and shot Bianca. Nelson decided to then shoot the Bianca's infant son, Joseph, and Shannon because he didn't want any witnesses, according to prosecutors.

Witnesses told prosecutors Nelson said,"I was there and saw it, so other things had to be done."

Court documents also say the infant was crying at the time of the shootings, and Nelson  didn't want the neighbors to hear.

22-year-old Joseph Nelson

22-year-old Joseph Nelson

Prosecutors say after shooting all three victims, Nelson cleared the room of shell casings. The probable cause statement says Nelson picked up one of the witnesses and brought them back to Nelson's home where Nelson told the witness, "I did something bad. I did something I don't think I can live with." The witness added that Nelson said, “I killed them. I killed them."

Court documents show that Nelson asked that same witness, who he picked up, to dispose of a small bag, which contained 14 shell casing. The witness later told prosecutors that Nelson burned a trash bag with his clothing and another victim's clothing. Police say during a search warrant of Nelson's home they found burned fabric on the grill and were able to confirm the witness' account.

Another witness told prosecutors that Nelson said he showered several times after killing the three and washed his hands with bleach.

Court documents say the day after the killings, Nelson reported to officers that two firearms, a magazine and ammunition had been stolen from his 1999 Buick four-door, but witnesses say that is not true and Nelson sold sold the firearm to another individual. Prosecutors would not confirm if police had been able to retrieve the murder weapon.

Nelson is being held in jail with bond set at $1 million. He denied any involvement in the killings and told prosecutors that he was asleep most of the day when the killings took place and only left his home shortly during the evening to pickup a relative.

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