KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The former police partner joins the wife of a fallen Kansas City, Missouri, police officer to ask the Missouri attorney general to move the case out of Jackson County.

The widow of Officer James Muhlbauer and his former police partner sent a letter to Attorney General Andrew Bailey. In the letter, the two claim Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has a conflict of interest and can’t effectively prosecute the man charged with killing the officer.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office charged Jerron Allen Lightfoot, 18, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, with two counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter stemming from a Feb. 15 crash near Truman Road and Benton Boulevard.

According to court documents, Lightfoot was speeding and ran a red light before hitting Muhlbauer’s car, which then hit a pedestrian.

Muhlbauer died from his injuries at a nearby hospital. His K-9 Champ died at the scene. Jesse Eckes, 52, was standing near the intersection and also died in the crash.

According to the letter sent to the Missouri attorney general, neither Muhlbauer’s former partner or his widow have faith in Peters Baker prosecuting the case.

It is well known amongst police officers, citizens of Kansas City and Jackson County that the prosecutor’s office is not a pro-police office. 

Since the night Jim was killed Cassie, Jim’s wife and widow, has been in contact with Jean Peters Baker and her office. 

While confidence in that office has been low, Cassie was giving her and her office benefit of the doubt and assuming she will [do] the right thing.  Cassie and her support team were quickly brought to reality with an extremely low bond issues and the suspect out in just over a day. 

In an early conversation when asked if Jean was handling Jim’s case or handing it off, [she] stated, “I handled the Brit Reed [case], He was Andy Reed’s son [who] injured someone recently because of drunk driving. I {handled} that because it was going to advance the position of the office that I go” at which time she laughed about the statement and later continued to say “what I am saying to you is, it worked for me to get the best sentence I could on Britt Reed for me to handle it. If it doesn’t work for me to be the one who handles this one, I won’t”. 

Justin C. Huttie, Muhlbauer’s former police partner

Lightfoot posted a $3,000 bond on Feb. 17, two days after the deadly crash, and was released on house arrest. One condition of his bond requires he stay in Jackson County.

Muhlbauer’s widow said she spoke to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office on the phone after Lightfoot was released on bond. According to the letter, Cassie Muhlbauer did not like what she heard in that meeting.

Cassie had another call with Jean’s staff, that did not include Jean.  The prosecutors office started grooming Cassie for the likely chance that the suspect could get probation and no jail time.  Jean called and left a message after stating, “Nothing I do has anything on this case has anything with me personally.  It is all what benefits the case, so I just wanted to let you know that and if you have any questions you can call me anytime.” 

It is clear that this is only a concern if it has political benefit to Jean Peters Baker and her office. 

Justin C. Huttie, Muhlbauer’s former police partner

After that message, Huttie and Muhlbauer’s widow decided to contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Office over the concerns they have with the case.

We are officially asking for the Jackson County Prosecutors office to be removed from this case due to a strong conflict of interest with numerous cases against KCPD and its personnel.  These often [times] feel like coordinated attacks with the mayors office as well. We are asking the case be moved to one of the other 4 counties that are included in the Kansas City boundaries. 

Justin C. Huttie, Muhlbauer’s former police partner

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office disagrees, saying it is the best option to prosecute the case, and released the following statement.

There is no apparent conflict in this case. We prosecute teachers, but we are not anti-education. We prosecute nurses, but we’re not anti-nursing. We prosecute priests, but we are not anti-Catholic. We will prosecute this case vigorously and ethically on behalf of all victims involved, as we do in all cases.

Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office

Cassie Muhlbauer confirmed she signed the letter written by Huttie and sent it to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

The attorney general’s office told FOX4 there are only two circumstances where it would interfere. A spokesperson for the AG released the following statement:

Under statute, there are only two instances in which the Attorney General’s Office can move in to prosecute: either a judge disqualifies a local prosecutor or the local prosecutor requests the Attorney General’s assistance in a case. The Attorney General’s Office has the resources on hand ready to deploy to assist in a local prosecution in either of those two instances.

Missouri Attorney General’s Office