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Independence woman sentenced to life in prison for 2017 murder

Prison bars
Posted at 3:16 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-27 11:20:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence woman was sentenced to life in prison for her role in a 2017 shooting that left 52-year-old Rodney V. Thurber dead, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.

Caitlyn A. Riffle, 28, was charged on one count of first-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action.

Court documents state that on Nov. 11, 2017, officers responded to 4616 Tracy Avenue on reports of a shooting, where they found Thurber shot to death.

Surveillance video captured a silver BMW in the area of the shooting shortly after it happened. Minutes after, Riffle was seen picking up Patrick R. Powell, who shot and killed Thurber at a nearby McDonald's.

The pair eventually abandoned the BMW at Walmart in Lee's Summit. Both of them entered the Walmart and purchased a Brisk Tea and a pack of cigarettes.

Through more surveillance video, investigators were able to identify Powell and Riffle. Both arrested on Dec. 11, 2017, in connection to the murder.

Riffle initially denied having any knowledge of the shooting or homicide and said Powell was simply at the residence to retrieve a gun.

However, evidence through text messages and witnesses showed Riffle had already been in the residence where she had retrieved the gun.

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