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LeGend Taliferro’s accused killer to plead guilty Friday

Ryson Ellis, charged with murder, 3 other felonies
Charron Powell & LeGend Taliferro
LeGend Taliferro.jpg
Posted at 6:04 PM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 22:38:31-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man who allegedly shot and killed a Kansas City, Missouri, toddler in June 2020 as he slept in his father’s apartment near East 63rd Street and The Paseo will plead guilty Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Ryson Ellis — who was extradited from Oklahoma after he was charged in August 2020 with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action — is scheduled to appear for a plea hearing, according to a court filing Wednesday.

Ellis allegedly opened fire at an apartment where LeGend Taliferro’s father, Raphael, lived around 2:30 a.m. on June 29, 2020, at the complex in the 1600 block of Bushman Road.

Ellis’ ex-girlfriend, who had a son with him, also was in the apartment. She alleged that Ellis had assaulted her and sent threatening messages in the days before the shooting, according to a KCPD probable cause statement.

LeGend’s father was the woman’s brother and had confronted Ellis with another family member after he allegedly assaulted her.

It’s unclear who Ellis intended to target when he shot at the apartment, but the bullet went through a privacy fence and sliding glass door before striking LeGend, who had survived an open-heart surgery earlier in his childhood.

Ellis initially pleaded guilty and originally was scheduled to go to trial in September 2021.

LeGend’s name was used as part of a federal law-enforcement effort, dubbed Operation LeGend, to help local law enforcement in several communities, including Kansas City, crack down on violent offenders.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

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 Mugshot Policy.