A man has been charged in connection to a triple homicide that claimed the lives of an infant and two teens.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced charges in connection to the case on Thursday.
Joseph Nelson, 22, of Kansas City, Mo., has been charged with three counts of murder in the first degree. He was also charged with three counts of armed criminal action and one county of burglary. Baker said Nelson was taken into custody on Wednesday.
A $1 million bond has been requested.
Bianca R. Fletcher, Shannon Rollins and an infant were killed Sept. 8 near Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo.
Baker said there was a long-term relationship between Fletcher and Nelson.
Details from court documents
According to court documents, Witness 3 said Nelson told them he went to Fletcher's house to "chill." Nelson told Witness 3 he and Fletcher argued and she threw a diaper at Nelson. Court documents state Nelson told Witness 3 that Witness 4, who Nelson said was with him, shot Fletcher. Nelson said another witness, Witness 5, then helped him remove shell casings from the residence.
Court documents state another witness said they heard a different story. Witness 4 said they received a phone call from Nelson, and Nelson told them to "be ready." Nelson then picked the witness up and took the witness to his residence. The witness said Nelson told them, "I did something bad. I did something I don't think I can live with," according to court documents.
According to court documents, Witness 4 said Nelson told them he went to Fletcher's residence and argued with her, and Nelson said Fletcher threw a diaper box at him. Witness 4 said Nelson said he "lost it" and shot Fletcher, Rollins and the infant. Court documents state Witness 4 also said Nelson said the infant had been crying, and Nelson didn't want neighbors to hear. Witness 4 said Nelson gave them personal items from the victims and told Witness 4 to get rid of them. The bag also contained 14 shell casings, according to court documents.
A final witness, Witness 5, said Nelson drove to the home and walked into the house unannounced. According to court documents, Witness 5 said Nelson presented a firearm and directed the victims to sit down. Witness 5 said a verbal confrontation ensued between Fletcher and Nelson, and after Fletcher threw something at Nelson he shot her. According to court documents, Witness 5 said additional shots were fired in the same room, and Witness 5 saw a man and an infant lifeless on the floor. Witness 5 said Nelson told them to help him pick up shell casings before leaving the residence.
According to court documents, Nelson told police on the day the victims were discovered he was asleep most of the day and only left his residence briefly to pick up a relative. Nelson denied any involvement in the shooting deaths, court documents state.
Baker on witnesses coming forward
"To those who say witnesses don't come forward, you are wrong,” Baker said. "To those who confuse witnesses and snitch - you're wrong. They're heroes."
“Law enforcement and my office, we are not going to stand idly by when crime happens in this community,” she said. “When loved ones are murdered - mothers, children, friends of victims of violence - when violence strikes, we will be there.”
Families of victims release statements
The families of the victims released statements following the charges being filed on Thursday.
From the parents of Shannon Rollins:
“Shannon was our heart. Our child was a wonderful young man, full of life. He loved everyone. He tried helping those he could. Each of us need to teach our kids how to solve problems without senseless violence, without resorting to a gun. Shannon was determined, he was talented – he wanted to be a dancer. The loss is unbearable for us, but we will find strength in God. And the light of the world is just a little more dim because Shannon’s light no longer burns.”
Statement from the father of Bianca and grandfather of the infant:
“I want to thank police for their quick action to bring justice to all. That’s what I can say. This is for all. Not just my family. My daughter and grandson were precious. We are hurting and angry, but we are grateful justice is being sought for my daughter and grandson. Regarding Shannon, as a father, I approved of Shannon – he was a very good influence on my daughter. We will miss him. I praise God that the police acted so quickly.