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Platte County grand jury declines to indict man involved in February shooting

Gavel
Posted at 10:50 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 11:50:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Platte County grand jury declined to indict a man Wednesday involved in a February shooting that left two people dead.

Kalob Lawson, 34, and Jonathan Lutz, 44, were shot and killed on Feb. 10 after "delivering a disputed amount of firewood to a Parkville home," according to a news release from Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd.

“This is a tragic case in which two people died in a dispute over a mere $200 of firewood, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families," Zahnd said in the release. "Ultimately, however, after carefully considering the facts and hearing from multiple witnesses, the grand jury found no crime had been committed in the shooting.”

Lawson, Lutz and another person were paid $200 by the owner of a Platte County home to deliver a cord of firewood. The owner left the home after paying, and the three men left soon after without delivering a full cord of wood.

The 22-year-old son of the owner called his father, after seeing the incident, and the owner called 911.

The son proceeded to chase after Lawson and Lutz's vehicle, and both cars stopped on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 9.

Lawson, Lutz and the son got out of their vehicles and had a heated exchange. Lawson was armed with a 9mm handgun, and the son said Lawson and Lutz were walking toward him. He said Lawson had his gun raised and pointed at him.

The son then grabbed his gun from his car and fired multiple times.

“Missouri’s ‘stand your ground’ law means people do not have to retreat before using force to defend themselves if they are in a place they have a right to be," Zahnd said in the release. "And while people can never use deadly force merely to protect property, they can use deadly force if they reasonably believe deadly force is necessary to protect themselves against death or serious physical injury.”

The Parkville Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Platte County Sheriff's Department and the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department's Crime Scene Unit.