Oak Grove man convicted in Independence homicide; attempts escape from courthouse


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 21-year-old Oak Grove, Missouri, man was convicted Thursday for a September 2018 fatal shooting in Independence.

David A. Harris was convicted of second degree murder, first degree assault and two accounts of armed criminal action in the shooting death of Mary Schmitz and wounding of another victim.

After a jury recommended prison sentences of 25 years, 10 years, 10 years and 3 years for each count, Harris apparently removed his leg brace in the restroom and broke through the back door of the courthouse. He was captured a short time later nearby.

Additional charges could be followed for the attempted escape.

Officers responded to the area of the 1100 block of Quail Creek Drive on the morning of September 18, 2018 on reports of shots fired.

When they arrived on scene, they heard yelling and through a window saw Schmitz on the floor of a dining room and upon entering the apartment, found a man who had been shot. A German Shepherd was also found dead at the scene.

Harris was found later that day near 39th Street and Crackerneck Road where he told police he was in a fight with the assault victim and shot Schmitz in the process.

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