Kansas City driver sentenced to prison for police chase and crash that killed four

·2 min read

A judge this week sentenced a Kansas City woman to 20 years in prison for her part in a police chase and crash that killed four people in 2018.

Victoria M. Brown, 27, pleaded guilty to four counts of second degree murder. She was sentenced to four 20-year sentences, which will run concurrently.

On June 1, 2018, shortly before 4 p.m., two Independence police officers on patrol near 23rd Street and Ralston Avenue saw a Jeep that was reported stolen. They tried to pull it over after it ran a stop sign, but it sped away, according to court documents.

Police pursued at speeds up to 90 mph, but the Jeep moved out of sight hundreds of yards away. When officers saw it again, a mile and a half to the west, it had crashed into a Dodge Avenger at 23rd Street and Television Place.

Four people were killed and four others injured. In the Dodge were Shawn Johnson Jr., 30; Anthony A. Belton Jr., 24; and AaRon Daniel, 29, who was on his way to see his newborn daughter. A passenger in the Jeep was also killed: 27-year-old Amanda Perry.

Brown was found pinned in the driver’s seat with serious injuries. She was initially charged with three counts of second degree murder and resisting arrest by fleeing.

The fourth second degree murder charge came once the fourth victim died. The resisting arrest charge was dropped during a plea agreement, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Michael Mansur said.

Since the 1990s, many law enforcement agencies across the country have restricted dangerous car chases to situations where public safety is at risk or a violent felony has occurred. The Kansas City Police Department is one of those.

Experts have said the danger falls if police stop chases because the person fleeing generally slows down.

A nearly identical wreck on the same road occurred about four years earlier. In that instance, a speeding driver fleeing Independence police crossed into Kansas City and struck another vehicle, killing a man and injuring two others.

To settle the resulting lawsuits after the earlier wreck, the City of Independence paid more than $767,000.

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