Man accused of killing man after police chase makes first court appearance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Andrew Stark, 22, accused of killing another man after a police chase, made his first appearance in court Wednesday and plead not guilty to all the charges against him.

Earlier this week, Independence police said Stark sped past a radar check point at Hall and 23rd Street.

Police reports later released stated an officer started a pursuit and during the approximately five minute chase, Stark reached speeds over 100 mph into Kansas City.

The officer can be heard from his dash camera saying he is backing off the chase near Wheeling Avenue and stops at a red light at Topping and 23rd Street. Moments later, he rolls upon the crash site at 23rd and Hardesty. 

That's where police said Stark crashed into another vehicle with three people inside, killing the driver, 35-year-old Jason Lewis and severely injuring two female passengers, Vanetta Williams, 35, and Shareyaha King, 17.

Witnesses on the scene saw Stark run from the crash and helped police arrest him moments later a few blocks down the road.

Wednesday, he came face-to-face with a judge during his initial appearance. 41 Action News was the only station in the courtroom. Quietly he only answered the judge's questions; she even had to ask him to speak up at one point.

Before entering court we asked Stark if he had anything to say but he covered his face as he was escorted into a police van and said nothing.

Stark's family did not want to comment after court, but the defense attorney made a statement.

"We are hopeful that the authorities are going to take a long and hard look at the actions of the pursuing police officer who was pursing whoever was driving that car," Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel Ross said.

The Independence Police Department has not released the name of the officer involved in the chase, but said he did follow the department's protocol and confirmed there is no internal investigation.

Stark has a prior conviction of leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license.

He now faces either second-degree murder or first-degree involuntary manslaughter charges, depending on the outcome of the investigation.

He is also facing two counts of second degree assault, resisting a lawful stop, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and a misdemeanor count of driving with a revoked license.
Stark is being held on a $100,000 cash only bond.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the two other female victims were still hospitalized.

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