A Platte County jury has convicted a 20-year-old Kansas City man for stealing a car last December.
Raymond L. Parsons was found guilty of felony auto theft after a trial prosecuted by Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd’s office. The jury recommended Parsons receive the maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine.
Zahnd thanked the jury for their verdict.
“We asked the jury to consider the full range of punishment for this defendant, and they decided he deserved the maximum,” Zahnd said.
“This was a brash crime committed in broad daylight just weeks before Christmas. The jury responded to that arrogance with the most severe sentence they could give,” he added.
Prosecutors alleged Parsons and his brother, Ryan Parsons, stole a 1994 Saturn automobile in the late morning or early afternoon of December 5, 2002.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the Parsons brothers took the car on a joy ride and then destroyed it. Police found the car running and nose down in a creek after having been pushed or run off a cliff near Waukomis Drive and 68th Street.
Evidence at trial indicated the car was taken during a house burglary.
Prosecutors presented proof that Christmas presents had been unwrapped, drawers ransacked, and food taken.
Police were called when the Parsons brothers drove the stolen car past another car and threw change at its occupants.
The driver and passenger of that car pursued the Parsons brothers, and eventually saw them run to a house where they had been staying. Police later found the brothers hiding in a closet of the house. Ryan Parsons pleaded guilty to the same crime on Feb. 6. He is presently serving time in prison for his actions.
“Thanks to the quick thinking and reports of eyewitnesses to an ill-fated joyride, the Parsons brothers were quickly apprehended,” Zahnd said. “Platte County is the wrong place to commit crimes. Platte County residents are quick to report wrongdoing and, even when no one gets injured, our juries tend to hand down tough sentences,” Zahnd said.
The trial was handled by Platte County Assistant Prosecutors Joe Vanover and Pam Vestal. Parsons is scheduled to be formally sentenced on July 17.