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Suspect charged in crash that killed 2 people during police pursuit

Posted at 3:42 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 16:42:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence man is facing two counts of second-degree murder after he killed two people Wednesday night while trying to flee from police.

The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Melvin Brown, 26, Friday, less than two days after Brown, operating a stolen Jeep, crashed into a motorcycle carrying two people as he attempted to evade arrest.

The driver of the motorcycle, Jake Monteer, 41, died at the scene of the crash around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday at Scott Avenue and Winner Road.

The passenger, identified as Jessica Fields, 42, died a short time later at a local hospital.

Court documents filed Friday in support of the charges say an Independence Police detective spotted Brown get into a reported stolen Jeep.

After other officers in an area responded to the detective’s call for stop sticks, Brown out-maneuvered the devices and went off road. The original detective lost sight of the Jeep.

An Independence Police sergeant eventually spotted the Jeep and re-initiated the pursuit, during which speeds reached more than 90 mph along Truman Road.

That sergeant also eventually lost sight of the Jeep.

Eventually, an officer in the department spotted the Jeep and continued the chase for a third time. In the area of 15th Street and Scott Avenue, a police officer reported that at least one tire had hit stop sticks that had been deployed.

The Jeep continued on Scott Avenue, where it was involved in the crash with the motorcycle at Winner Road.

Brown was eventually taken into custody after police disabled the Jeep near Lee’s Summit Road and 42nd Street.

Brown was taken to Centerpoint Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Police obtained a warrant to conduct a blood sample, which tested positive for amphetamine, methamphetamine and cannabinoids.

In addition to the two counts of second-degree murder, prosecutors charged Brown with felony resisting an arrest, felony leaving the scene of a deadly crash and felony tampering with a motor vehicle.

Brown remains in custody on a $300,000 bond.

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 Mug Shot Policy.