Independence man sentenced to prison in 2016 deadly road rage shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 41-year-old Independence man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison in a road rage shooting that killed a 22-year-old woman in 2016.

In June, a Jackson County jury found Christopher Taylor guilty of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in connection to the October 2016 death of 22-year-old Whitney Gray.

Whitney Gray

On Friday, a judge sentenced Taylor to 7 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge and 17 years for the armed criminal action charge. Those sentences will run concurrently.

According to court documents, a teen inside Gray’s minivan threw a drink at Taylor’s car as they were driving down Sterling Avenue. In return, Taylor shot at the minivan, hitting Gray once in the chest, and she died.

When Taylor was arrested, after being found in South Dakota shortly after Whitney’s death, prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder.

Christopher Taylor

Taylor’s defense argued in court that his actions were reactionary, and the jury instead convicted Taylor on the involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action charges.

In June, Gray’s family told FOX4 they were devastated by the jury’s decision.

“Yeah, it wasn’t premeditated, but he did take the life of another human being,” said Dylan Gray, Whitney Gray’s brother. “A bullet will do that. Pulling a gun out and you knowingly knew what that gun was going to do, I don’t think it was involuntary at all.”

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