KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A driver charged with running from police and killing two people on a motorcycle appeared in Jackson County court on Monday.
Melvin T. Brown, 26, an Independence resident, faces five charges after police report he led them on a high-speed chase last Wednesday.
A small memorial continues to grow at Winner Road and Scott Avenue, the site of last week’s crash.
Independence Police said Jake Monteer and his friend Jessica Fields were on a motorcycle at that intersection, en route to pick up pizza. When the police chase screamed through that area, Brown’s car hit the motorcycle, killing them both.
The Monteer family is still in shock.
“I can’t deal with this. I want my baby back,” Terri Monteer, Jake’s mother, said Monday.
Court document show Brown led police on a chase through various parts of Independence, often driving the wrong way on roads, including Interstate 70. Brown was driving a stolen car, officials say.
Police said Brown crashed into the motorcycle and kept going. Monteer died instantly. Fields died that night at the hospital.
“I’ve lost my baby. I’m never going to be the same. My heart is torn out. I think this chase thing ought to be slowed down a little bit when it’s dangerous. It really is,” Terri Monteer added.
On Monday, a Jackson County judge appointed a public defender for Brown. He faces five charges, including two counts of second-degree murder.
Monteer’s family wants to know why patrol officers were chasing a stolen car.
“I think they should pay for what they did. They shouldn’t be chasing like that. Innocent people got taken because of a stolen car. A car can be replaced. They can’t,” Annalee Monteer, Jake’s girlfriend, said.
Independence police spokesperson Jack Taylor said decisions on pursuits go to shift supervisors on duty. They take things like traffic, weather and the charges a suspect could face into consideration.
Monteer’s family said Fields’ loved ones live out of the area and may not even know she’s gone. They’re trying to make funeral arrangements for her and for Jake, too. You can donate here.