Man charged with murder following crash that killed 2 in Independence

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - A 26-year-old Independence man is facing charges following a crash on Wednesday, which killed two people who were riding a motorcycle.

Melvin T. Brown faces two counts of second-degree murder, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, and tampering with a motor vehicle charges.

This began when an officer saw a Jeep that was previously reported stolen. The officer tried to coordinate the deployment of stop sticks to prevent a pursuit, but the driver kept going. Investigators say Brown drove at speeds ranging from 28 mph to up 93 mph to avoid being pulled over.

Around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, police say Brown struck a motorcycle near Scott Avenue and Winner Road. The crash killed the driver of the motorcycle, Jake Jackson Monteer, and passenger Jessica Marie Fields.

“It is a shame when something like this happens,” one neighbor said. “We just pray for them.”

That neighbor placed a “Watch for Motorcycles” sign in the area.

“It really bothers you,” they continued. “I’ve been riding [motorcycles] for many years, and you just hate to see anybody get hurt.”

During an inspection of the Jeep following the crash, police say they observed the ignition column of the Jeep was broken in numerous pieces. Two screwdrivers were found on the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The rear vent window on the driver’s side was broken out and had been taped over. The Jeep was reported stolen from NW Prairie View Road in Kansas City.

According to court records, a preliminary toxicology lab test of Brown’s blood found the presence of amphetamine, methamphetamine and cannabinoids. A confirmation toxicology lab test is pending.

Brown is being held on a $300,000 cash-only bond. His mugshot is not yet available.