Archive for Monday, June 30, 2003

21-year-old Kansas Citian charged in Westport death

Police say argument preceded fatal stabbing

June 30, 2003

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— Prosecutors have charged a 21-year-old woman with the stabbing death of a Raytown man in the city's popular Westport entertainment and bar district.

Roderick Chambers, 24, was found alive just before 3 a.m. Saturday in the street on Westport Road. He died after he was taken to an area hospital, police said.

Later Saturday, authorities charged Jasmine R. Jackson, 21, of Kansas City, Kan., with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

The incident occurred after an argument between Chambers, Jackson and their friends. Jackson took a knife from her purse and stabbed Chambers in the neck and cut the arm of one of his friends, police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sanders said.

About 500 people were in the Westport area as bars closed Saturday morning, though police said it was unclear how many people were involved in the dispute.

This was the first major incident of the summer in the Westport area, where crowds of 5,000 to 7,500 come and go on a typical Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Both police and Westport business owners have tried in recent years to decrease crime and handle the crowds that tend to linger in the area.

Last year, police enforced the city's curfew, closed streets in Westport's core and restricted traffic on neighborhood streets.

This year, the area's business association plans to improve outdoor lighting and upgrade its public-address system so announcements can be made to large crowds.

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