Independence man charged in KCPD crime-scene investigator death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An Independence man is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the car crash that killed a Kansas City Police Department crime-scene investigator.

People who worked with 29-year-old Michael Chou at the crime lab on Troost Avenue described him as an "absolute gem" who was a very special part of the team. Remnants of the accident that split Chou's car in half covered the ground near the lab.  He was leaving work at around 3 a.m. Saturday, but didn't make it far.

Kansas City Police Department spokesman Captain Tye Grant said, "He was leaving work at the time, and obviously that makes it a little difficult for some of the people who were up here working this."

Jackson County Prosecutors said Larneal D. Davis of Independence was trying to flee from police when he collided with Chou near 66 th Street and Troost.

Davis was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a Class B felony.

Court records show that Davis told police he had been drinking to celebrate his recent birthday. His blood alcohol level at around 6 a.m. was .083, which is above the legal limit.

Prosecutors also said Davis was driving on a suspended license. Prosecutors said if the case goes to a grand jury, the charges could change.

Chou's online profiles showed he moved to the Kansas City area around two years ago when he came to work for the department. His profile showed his enjoyment of '90s music.  Some of those CDs could be seen scattered on the ground following the crash.

Chou was pronounced dead at the scene. The flag outside of the police crime lab waved Saturday at half-staff for him.

The department was waiting for Chou's family to come into town from Illinois before any other arrangements were made.

Prosecutors requested Davis be held on $300,000 bond.

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