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Landlord to stand trial for murder

A Kansas City landlord will stand trial for first degree murder after prosecutors played a 911 call where he promised police he was “getting ready to kill someone.”

A Platte County Associate Circuit Court found probable cause that Webber Douglas Gilmer, 55, murdered Brian S. Harrell, 28, after an apparent dispute at an apartment.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd played the 911 call as the State’s last piece of evidence during a July 7 preliminary hearing before Judge Gary Witt. In the March 16, 2007 call, a man who identifies himself as Gilmer tells police he is “getting ready to commit a crime.”

Gilmer demands that police “send an ambulance” because “somebody’s going to die.” He identifies his victim, Brian Harrell, by name and tells police “you got a promise” that “somebody’s going to get killed right now.”

Prosecutors allege that, moments later, Gilmer shot Harrell multiple times. Officers from the Platte County Sheriff’s Department and the Kansas City Police Department found Harrell dead at the scene from gunshot wounds.

Evidence at the preliminary hearing indicated that, earlier in the day, Harrell, his wife, and brother were attempting to remove personal property from Harrell’s wife’s apartment, where Gilmer was the landlord. Gilmer confronted them and refused to let them into the apartment.

Kansas City Police officers responded and referred the parties to the Kansas City Human Relations Office. Everyone left the scene.

The Harrells returned to the apartment later in the day, and Harrell forced entry into the apartment because the lock had been changed. Gilmer called the police, saying he was getting ready to commit murder, and then allegedly shot Harrell multiple times.

Kansas City police arrested Gilmer at the scene. Police later found a gun in his garage matching the caliber of shell casings found allegedly used in the shooting.

If convicted of first degree murder, Gilmer’s sentence would be life in prison without parole. He remains in custody in lieu of a $1 million cash bond.

Gilmer is scheduled to be arraigned in Platte County Circuit Court on July 10.

The case is being investigated by the Kansas City Police Department with assistance from the Platte County Sheriff's Department. Zahnd and assistant prosecutors Mark Gibson and Jaclyn Taylor are prosecuting the case.



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