Man charged after allegedly killing victim who was avenging brother's death

A man was found shot and killed on the sidewalk at 51st & Lawn early Thursday morning.
Posted at 2:54 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 12:39:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence man has been charged for allegedly killing a man who was avenging his brother's death, the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

Malijahjuan Smith, 25, is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of Demarion Benjamin.

According to court documents, on July 7, Benjamin texted his girlfriend to tell her he was going to "handle" the killers of his brother, JJ.

Smith told detectives that he and Benjamin allegedly plotted to purchase a stolen car and use a false license plate on it to commit the crime.

The pair drove to an apartment where the vehicle was supposed to be but there wasn't a vehicle, Smith told detectives.

Smith drove away from the location, and moments later, Benjamin told him to pull over and went to the back of the car Smith was driving to put on a false plate.

He later told Smith to get out of the car to check if the plate looked good.

While Smith was doing so, Benjamin went to the passenger seat.

Smith told detectives he had a bad feeling about the situation, so he went to the front of the car.

While doing so, Smith alleged Benjamin pulled out a gun, and that's when Smith shot Benjamin.