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Archive for Friday, December 2, 2005

Guilty plea ends stray bullet shooting case

December 2, 2005

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— A Kansas City teenager has pleaded guilty to firing a stray bullet that killed a man sitting in his house.

On Tuesday, 18-year-old Kevin Briggs pleaded guilty to second-degree felony murder in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Jury selection was to take place Tuesday for his second trial after the first ended in a mistrial in July.

Jeff Tilman, a 29-year-old mechanic and father of two children, was killed instantly by a stray bullet on Dec. 11.

"Every murder is a tragedy," assistant Jackson County prosecutor Dan Miller said. "What makes this all the more tragic is that he was such an innocent victim."

Tilman's wife and 7-year-old son were on a couch when he was shot in the head sitting at a computer. His 5-year-old daughter was in another room.

Witnesses told police Briggs leaned out of a car and fired a handgun at a passing vehicle when the bullet strayed.

Briggs faces from 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 6.

Michael Cooper, 18, is charged with second-degree felony murder for allegedly driving the car with Briggs during the crime. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 3, according to court records.

Among evidence against the two were letters allegedly written by Briggs to Cooper speaking about the crime, Miller said.

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