Oak Grove man sentenced for 2018 deadly shooting in Independence


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 20-year-old Oak Grove man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the 2018 deadly shooting of 20-year-old Mary Schmitz.

In July, a Jackson County jury found David A. Harris guilty of second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and first-degree assault connected to the Sept. 18, 2018 Independence shooting that killed Schmitz and wounded another person.

After the conviction, 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.

On Wednesday, a Jackson County judge sentenced Harris to 25 years total on the second-degree murder and first armed criminal action charges, and 10 more years on the first-degree assault and second armed criminal action conviction. Those sentences of 25 and 10 years were set to run consecutively.

According to court records, while at the scene, officers heard yelling and through a window they saw the homicide victim, identified as 20-year-old Mary Schmitz, on the floor in the dining room. Police also found a 21-year-old man in a bedroom with a gunshot wound. He was taken to an area hospital with life threatening injuries.

Police also said a German Shepherd had been killed.

Several people were reported to be in the apartment when the incident occurred.

Police later found Harris, who matched the descriptions given to them by the assault victim. He told police that he had been in a fight with the assault victim at the home and had shot Schmitz during the fight. Harris told police he then left the scene and threw the gun into the woods.

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