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Former KCPD officer charged with manslaughter in deadly wreck before Chiefs game

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 16:39:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Kansas City police officer has been charged in connection with a deadly crash in October 2018 before a Chiefs game.

Jackson County prosecutors on Friday announced that Terrell E. Watkins, 34, was charged with involuntary first-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and misdemeanor careless driving.

Court documents released Friday show that around 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, a Kansas City Police Department van driven by Watkins, then an officer with the department, struck the back of passenger car while going nearly 80 miles per hour along northbound Interstate 435.

The crash killed the driver of the car, Chandan Rajanna, and injured two others.

An investigation showed that Watkins was working as an off-duty security officer. The Chiefs were set to play on Sunday Night Football later that night.

Cellphone records obtained by investigators indicated that Watkins phone was “actively in use in the moments immediately preceding his report of the crash to police dispatch.”

A KCPD spokesman said Watkins resigned from his position on June 20.

“The charges filed today against a former Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department officer represent a painstakingly thorough investigation into the tragic crash last October that took the life of a 17-year-old young man and injured his family members,” Sgt. Jake Becchina said in a release.