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Johnson County jury finds Olathe man guilty of first-degree murder in death of his stepson

Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 12, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Johnson County jury found an Olathe man guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of his stepson after an argument inside an house.

Christopher Barwick, 52, shot Bryson Smith on April 23, 2023, in an unfinished basement in a house in the 800 block of South Windsor Road in Olathe.

Smith, 26, died two days later.

Barwick told police the day of the shooting he had gotten into an argument with Smith about nearly setting the kitchen on fire, according to a court document.

He told Smith to get his belongings and leave the house.

Barwick admitted to police he shot Smith, but said Smith came at him with a knife and he shot him in self defense.

Officers found a knife with a white pearl handle under Bryson's left hand, according to the court document.

Video found in a living room camera showed Barwick walk into the kitchen just before he made the 911 call and go out of sight of the camera.

A short time later, Barwick is seen on camera walking from the kitchen with a white-handled knife, according to the court document.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 24.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.