Family of Kansas City murder victim outraged after suspect takes plea deal

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local murder victim’s family is outraged, saying right before the trial, the suspect took a plea deal.

Prosecutors said Thorne McKendrick was only 19 when he shot and killed Michael Brown, a Kansas City dad, who confronted him during an alleged car burglary.

An organ donor, Brown’s family believes his spirit lives on in others.

“A little girl, she’s a young kid, she got to graduate college because of my son,” Brown’s mom, Jerri Noble said. “Someone got his heart and is a farmer.”

Noble will never forget that day in August 2020.

Prosecutors say video shows McKendrick burglarizing a car. Brown intervenes, and the two struggled, before police say McKendrick shot brown in the head and ran off.

“I shouldn’t have had to bury him,” Noble said.  “He was going to take care of me. McKendrick took my future. Now, I don’t have no one who’s going to be taking care of me.”

More than a year later, Brown’s family says they were ready to face McKendrick at trial, only to find out Monday he had reached a plea deal with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I’m incredibly frustrated about how things turned out,” said Brown’s ex-wife, Jackie Calvert. “This was not OK. This was not a self-defense case, he was murdered. So yeah, even if we completely lost at least he’d have known that he was fought for.”

McKendrick pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which requires convicts to serve 85-percent of the sentence.

He also agreed to one count of armed criminal action, but another count was dismissed as was a charge for unlawful use of a weapon.

In a statement, Michael Mansur with the prosecutor’s office told FOX4: “We determined this plea agreement was the best way to go to ensure a conviction on murder second degree.”

Brown’s family believes if the sentences run concurrently, McKendrick will be out in less than 10 years.

“We didn’t get to fight for him,” Noble said. “He wouldn’t have wanted anybody to go to prison for the rest of their life because that kid’s just a kid.”

McKendrick’s sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2022.

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