KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former Grandview police officer will spend the rest of his life in prison.
After less than two hours deliberating, the jury has found Jeffrey Moreland guilty of Murder in the First Degree and Armed Criminal action in the death of Cara Jo Roberts.
Just a few short hours later, they sentenced him to life in prison without the chance of parole for Murder in the First Degree, plus 50 years for Armed Criminal action.
Robert’s husband found her dead in a bathtub in their Harrisonville home back on November 5, 2008.
Her murder went unsolved until July 2011 when DNA from Jeffrey Moreland came up as a match to the DNA profile created at the 2008 murder scene.
Moreland's DNA also linked him to the murder of Nina Whitney in June of 2011 and the rape of another woman that same year. Neither case could be brought up during the 4 day trial which started Monday.
The prosecution's closing argument started at 2:43 p.m. and lasted 26 minutes.
The state brought up several pieces of forensic evidence that matches Moreland's DNA including semen found on the victim's body, a partial fingerprint on a roll of duct tape left behind in the bedroom and on two zip ties discovered in the hallway and bathroom where Roberts' body was found floating in water.
Detectives also found a 9 mm casing in bathtub under the body. Moreland's former partner testified the defendant owned 2 - 9 mm handguns.
The state also called Moreland's son-in-law as a witness. He told the court Moreland asked him to provide DNA so he could get out of a paternity test.
The defense closing arguments lasted 10 minutes.
They agreed with the prosecution that sexual activity occurred between the victim and the defendant but that he did not murder her.
The defense argued no murder weapon every found and there was no witness to place the defendant at the murder scene. The attorney also reminded the jury there was no evidence Moreland killed the victim and said the state never established who did.
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