KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- One defense attorney said he found out property he requested was unavailable while he was in the courtroom and that new information about the KCPD’s warehouse fire makes him think it was bigger than he was led to believe.
“The prosecutor informed the court that the police were using their best efforts to get the audit completed and were spending $25,000 a day to accomplish that,” said Attorney Dan Ross.
About three weeks ago, Kansas City Police Sergeant Jacob Becchina described a fire at a property storage warehouse on Municipal Avenue.
He said some shelves in a small portion of the building that housed evidence and property involved in crimes were burned and destroyed.
This week, Criminal Defense Attorney Dan Ross learned police were doing an audit of the fire.
“The upshot to that is, large amounts of physical evidence that’s been recovered for use in prosecution of criminal defendants is not available for use at trial,” he said.
Ross has two trials next week where property was recovered; one involved a shooting in Westport a couple years ago where several people were hurt.
Those hearings have been continued.
He said property is on hold and it’s not being provided to prosecutors. However, the state is getting lists of available property in pending cases.
“Those lists are what I am complaining we are not getting promptly provided,” Ross said. “I finally got one today on a case that was set next week.”
Ross is confident everything will be figured out but that it makes for a delay.
He’s filing motions in all his cases asking for a list of available evidence and details on what’s been destroyed or damaged.
Ross said if cases are significantly delayed, he’ll ask for lower bonds or dismissals if critical evidence was destroyed.
He said that, next week, a representative from the police department is supposed to give the judge in the district an explanation of the audit process.