Independence police arrest suspect in triple homicide - KCTV5 News


Prosecutors release chilling details in Independence family's slaying

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Antonio Cervantes III Antonio Cervantes III

Jackson County prosecutors announced Wednesday that two men have been charged in a triple homicide where a mother and two men were shot during a home invasion robbery.

Court documents indicate one of the suspects plotted to rob his stepfather, seeking drugs and money. He allegedly promised would-be accomplices that it would be an easy job, but three people wound up dead and a 12-year-old is battling for his life.

Police arriving after a 911 call from a 15-year-old who had frantically fled the house after hearing the gunshots, and they found a horrific scene. Several of the victims had been bound and duct taped, according to court records.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Wednesday night she had filed the charges against 32-year-old Antonio Cervantes III and 33-year-old Kevin M. Finley. The two men face three counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action, as well as numerous other felony charges.

Baker said she will consider the death penalty because of the heinous nature of the crimes inside the home in the 1500 block of South Pope Avenue.

Because they are charged with first-degree murder, prosecutors are expected to ask a judge that they be held with no bond. The two will make their first court appearances Monday morning.

Court documents said, when police arrived just after 4:30 a.m. Nov. 16, they saw a Hispanic male coming toward them with duct tape on his hands and mouth. When officers went inside the home, they found three people had been shot and killed.

"Some people were duct taped. Their mouths were covered with tape. Their hands were duct taped behind their back, and they were executed," Baker said.

Those killed were Maria Hernandez, 48, her 20-year-old son, Antonio Hernandez, and her boyfriend, Tomas Dominguez, who police had originally identified as Tomas Madrigal. Police said the fourth person, the 12-year-old boy, was critically wounded but is expected to survive.

Investigators said the crime was an isolated incident and the crime scene was plotted by Dominguez's stepson. Court documents said Cervantes told people he wanted to rob Dominguez, his stepfather, of "money and dope" because he had done it before and got $30,000.

Police quickly focused on Cervantes through items stolen from the home, including a cell phone. Using those cell phone records, police determined the phone was in possession of individuals, who once interviewed, named Cervantes and Finley as the killers.

Those who knew the two suspects told police Cervantes openly tried to recruit several people to participate in the robbery, making it seem like it would be an easy "in and out job." After the shooting, someone who knew Finley spoke to him and he told them Cervantes lied to him and said "it's all bad."

Court documents said Antonio Hernandez had duct tape over his mouth and his hands were duct taped behind his back. He was found shot in the head, while Dominguez was shot once in the back and once in the head. Court documents did not detail Maria Hernandez's injuries.

Those who survived told police that two men wearing ski masks, one dressed mostly in black and a second dressed mostly in red, burst into the home and fired the fatal shots.

Witnesses told police Cervantes and Finley demanded drugs and, when the Hernandezes and Dominguez said they didn't have any drugs, the two men shot them. The child recovering in the hospital told police one of the men had an Uzi-style submachine gun.

The child's two sisters escaped the house when they heard gunfire and ran to a neighbor's residence for aid. Police have not detailed the exact number of children who were sleeping inside the home and escaped.

Social workers are overseeing the care of the surviving children.

Click here to read previous coverage.

KCTV5's Dave Jordan and Sandra Olivas contributed to this report.

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