Murder victim’s family struggles to grasp why suspect, now charged in 2nd murder, was out of jail

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A 2017 murder suspect now faces charges in connection to another killing in Independence.

This weekend's murder happened early Sunday morning near 39th and Sterling in Independence. One woman was killed and a second person hurt. But the family of last year's murder victim said Sunday's killing never should've happened.

"Obviously, he's a monster. He's a monster. Why let this person out?" Crystal Marron said.

She still wipes away tears thinking about her nephew, 18-year-old Phillip Anderson.

"It's still hard for me. It's still hard. Just when I drive by Noland Road, it's hard. I can't even go to the Quik Trip on Sterling because it just hurts," Marron said.

Anderson was riding in a friend's car down Interstate 70 near Noland Road last October. During what police called a possible road rage situation, Anderson was shot and killed near the QT at Sterling and 40 Highway.

Within days, two men, Michael Dumas and Donovan James, were charged in connection to the murder.

"I don't think any of my family's ever going to get over this. My sister lost her son. We lost our nephew.  He was a good kid," Marron said.

The family was devastated further when Dumas bonded out of jail a month after being arrested.

"I don't know why they let him out. Obviously he's a dangerous person," Marron said.

The heartache and frustration are only more intense now. On Sunday, police said Dumas allegedly killed Sarah Simms at an Independence home.

Court records indicate Simms was a "key cooperating key witness" in Anderson's 2017 murder case.

"I just feel bad. I feel this would not have happened if he would've stayed in jail," Marron said. "They should've just held him responsible for the killing of my nephew."

It's not clear what effect the murder of a witness in her nephew's death will have on that case.

Marron is just glad Dumas is back behind bars facing more charges, which she hopes makes it impossible for him to be on the streets putting others at risk.

"I want them to lock him up and throw away the key."

Dumas is now held on $750,000 bond.

Police are also investigating a suspected explosive device found in a yard near this weekend's murder scene and say it is connected to that investigation. So it’s possible Dumas could be facing even more charges.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.