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Teen charged with murder in botched marijuana deal in Independence apartment complex parking lot

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 17:46:58-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A teenager faces a murder charge in the shooting death of a man inside a car during a marijuana deal.

Chadd Williams, 19, of Independence, is charged in Jackson County Court with second degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and robbery, according to court records.

Independence police officers were sent about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2022, to an apartment complex on an unconscious male in a black Chrysler 300 parked near dumpsters in the back of the complex, a court document states.

They found James D. Smith, 19, of Independence, dead from a gunshot wound in the driver's seat of the car.

Investigators also found three phony $20 bills and a 9mm Luger shell casing.

Video from the apartment complex revealed two suspects get into Smith's car and get into a fight with Smith.

Detectives used information from Snapchat and cell phone information to help track down Williams.

Williams was seen leaving Truman High School the day after the murder.

Police arrested Williams Dec. 24 at a convenience store at 13961 east 39th St., in Independence.

Williams told police in an interview he was not in Independence on the day of the murder, but at a relative's house in KCMO.

A judge set Williams' bond at $100,000.