Jury convicts Independence man of murder, setting victim's car on fire after killing

Prison Bars
Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 18:44:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 26-year-old Independence man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted by a jury of first degree murder and other charges Friday in Jackson County Court.

Martel Harrison shot and killed Sage Walston, 25, of Shawnee, on August 20, 2020, at east Linwood Boulevard and Elmwood Avenue in Kansas City.

KCMO police officers found Walton in the street with glass from an automobile near him, according to a court document.

Investigators determined Harrison shot Walston in the 2008 Toyota Corolla that belonged to Walston.

Harrison allegedly told a person after the murder he shot Walston when he was not looking.

Walston's burning car was found in a church parking lot less than a mile from the apartment complex where Johnson had been staying with a woman, according to a court document.

A woman who knew both Harrison and Walston told police Harrison gave her $20 to buy the gasoline used to set Walston's car on fire.

Harrison burned his face and neck while setting the car on fire, according to the court document.

He shaved his head after the fire.

Police interviewed Harrison and he denied killing Walston or setting Walston's car on fire.

The jury also convicted Harrison of armed criminal action and knowingly burning or exploding.

Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13.