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Couple charged with murder in shooting outside Independence McDonald's

Suspect reported alleged getaway car missing
Posted: 5:20 PM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-01 18:20:36-04
Matthew Woodward and Erica Williams

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, couple is facing murder charges in connection with a deadly shooting last month outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Independence, Jackson County prosecutors said Thursday.

Matthew Woodward, 34, was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action in the July 14 death of Brian Jones Woodruff.

Erica Williams, 32, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. She married Woodward in June, according to records in Jackson County.

Woodruff was found shot to death at a parking lot outside of the McDonald’s in the 11800 block of U.S. 40 in Independence. According to court records, a witness leaving the nearby Walmart told police that he saw a man inside a minivan shooting at a group of men.

Another witness said Woodward and Williams told her they planned to rob a man, records said.

Williams allegedly drove the vehicle, a white Dodge Journey, and Woodward started shooting once they saw the man. Woodward fired shots and struck two men, killing Woodruff, according to records.

Woodruff was not the target of the shooting but happened to be standing nearby, prosecutors said.

The other man was injured in the shooting but survived.

Woodward and Williams then fled the scene in the vehicle.

Two days after the shooting, Williams filed a police report to say her vehicle, a white Dodge Journey, had been stolen.

Shell casings from the scene also matched a firearm purchased by Williams in March 2019.

Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 cash bond for Woodard and a $200,000 bond for Williams.