LIBERTY, MO. — A Kansas City man found shot to death in his car feared for his life and specifically named his ex-wife's father as a threat, according to court documents.
Prosecutors think Thadd E. Mize's fears were well-founded; his former in-laws are now charged with killing him.
Ten days after his Nov. 1 divorce, Mize filed for a protection order and told a judge that his former father-in-law, James Williams, had threatened to shoot him, The Kansas City Star reported in Friday's editions.
Clay County Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Davis denied the protection order because Mize lacked evidence, according to a court transcript. The judge did advise Williams to stay away from Mize.
On Dec. 12, Mize was found shot to death in his car on a Kansas City street.
Williams, 47, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. His wife, Brenda, 46, is charged with second-degree murder.
Police and prosecutors allege that James Williams shot Mize twice with a handgun as he and Brenda Williams drove a minivan tailing Mize.
The couple pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing on Thursday. James Williams remained jailed on $1.25 million bond. His wife's bond was set at $300,000.
The evening Mize died, he had just dropped off his two sons at a Wal-Mart parking lot as ordered in his divorce from Chrysta Mize. After the exchange, Mize told his girlfriend in a cell phone call that his ex-wife's parents were following him in a van, according to court records.
Mize's girlfriend told investigators she then heard loud popping sounds. Mize yelled that he had been shot, and the line went dead.
After Mize was killed, his girlfriend was granted temporary protection orders against James and Brenda Williams. She alleged that before Mize's death, they had stalked and harassed her, according to court papers.
Mize's father, David Mize of Derby, Kan., said Thursday that he never had thought his son's domestic problems would lead to his death.
Mize's father said his son got married in 1991, and the family moved to Kansas City about two years ago.
At a hearing Nov. 29, Thadd Mize sought protection orders against his ex-wife and her father.
Mize alleged in court papers that seven days after the divorce, James Williams threatened to shoot Mize after Mize had confronted his ex-wife, who he said was watching his apartment.
A Jan. 15th hearing is scheduled for the Williamses.