NewsLocal News


Family angered by grand jury decision not to indict Platte County man who shot, killed two men

Kalob Lawson
Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 20:34:47-04

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. — Family members of two men shot and killed in February are angry at a jury's decision not to indict the man who killed them.

"It's sickening really. I don’t see how they can just let somebody get away with murder, two murders at that," Kimberly Rankin said.

Rankin is still grieving the loss of her fiance, 34-year-old Kalob Lawson.

Lawson and 44-year-old Johnathon Lutz were shot and killed in Parkville in February after a dispute over $200 worth of firewood.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd says the shooting is a tragic case. Zahnd says the men failed to deliver all of the firewood they were supposed to to a man who lives in unincorporated Platte County, which caused the man's son to follow Lawson and Lutz in a car.

When both cars stopped on the side of Highway 9, Zahnd says one of the two men threatened the man who followed them with a gun. The man following Lawson and Lutz shot both Lawson and Lutz.

Kyle Lawson says he doesn't believe his brother, Kalob, was ever going to shoot the man.

"I know him, he's not going to just shoot someone," Kyle Lawson said. "I think he was trying to let him know whatever you're going to do, I'm going to defend myself and you need to leave."

A grand jury decided Wednesday not to indict the man who killed Lawson and Lutz and cited Missouri's "stand your ground" law, saying the man was defending himself.

Zahnd says after carefully considering the facts, and hearing testimony from the man and a teen witness who was in the car with Lawson and Lutz, the jury declined to indict, and he accepts the decision.

Family members of Lawson also had concerns about the legality of the man's ownership of the gun he used in the shooting.

Zahnd tells KSHB 41 News the man lawfully possessed the gun he used.