6 teens charged with murder following shooting at Olathe park

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) - The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against six juveniles.

A spokesperson with the office said four 14-year-olds and two 13-year-olds have been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Marco Cardino. All of the teen suspects are from Olathe.

The Johnson County District Attorney’s office will pursue charging the four 14-year-olds as adults. Kansas law prohibits 13-year-olds from being charged as an adult.

Olathe police said they were called to the 14500 block of W. 151st Street just before 4 a.m. on Saturday for a report of shots fired. They found Cardino once they arrived at Black Bob Park. The 19-year-old from Smithville, Missouri, had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe told KCTV5 Tuesday that prosecutors believe the deadly shooting was a marijuana drug deal that ended in a homicide.

“It’s another example of what we describe as drug rips,” Howe said. “It’s a situation where one of the parties tries to rob the other individual.”

KCTV5 News spoke with experts at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City Crittenton Children’s Center who provide behavioral and mental health services for adolescents. Director of Intake Services Amanda Davis, LPC said behavioral and mental health experts around the Kansas City metro are seeing an increase in adolescents using marijuana.

“A lot of what’s developing when we’re in that middle school age range is our executive functioning. This is our decision making our impulse control,” Davis said. “When you use a substance while your brain is developing, it’s really hard for the brain to continue developing in a normal way.”

Davis said with increased legalization of marijuana, many centers that offer services have seen more young people using the substance.

“I think a lot of parents and kids think it’s fairly innocuous, but we do know that when the brain is still developing, that substance use is going to have a longer lasting and more impactful­ change in terms of the brain’s development,” Davis said.

Davis says parents should be aware that the potency of marijuana has changed.­

“The pot that your mom smoked back in high school is not the same pot that your kiddo is getting a hold of today,” Davis said. “It’s much more potent and has a much stronger effect.”

Crittenton Children’s Center offers several programs, including an intensive substance use outpatient program for adolescents.

Olathe police are asking anyone with information about the homicide to call the Olathe Police Department at 913-971-6363 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.