Kansas City, KS – Prosecutors have agreed not to seek a potential death sentence in the case of a man who is accused of murdered a Kansas City police captain in 2016.
In exchange, defense attorneys said they would not attempt to use mental disease or defect in defense of 22-year-old Jamaal Lewis during his capital murder trial in November, The Kansas City Star reported.
Lewis also waived his right to a preliminary hearing and entered a not guilty plea during the brief hearing in Wyandotte County District Court on Friday.
Kansas City Police Captain Robert David Melton, 46, was fatally shot while he was assisting his fellow officers with a drive-by shooting investigation on July 19, 2016, The Kansas City Star reported.
A citizen reported that three or four men in a burgundy Grand Prix had fired a gun in the neighborhood, but officers were not initially provided with a description of the suspect’s vehicle, according to WDAF.
Officers happened to locate the vehicle driving the wrong way and attempted to stop the car for the traffic violation.
A brief pursuit ensued, but officers ultimately terminated the chase because they had not yet been provided with a description of the shooter’s vehicle.
A short while later, Capt. Melton, a 25-year veteran of the department, spotted Lewis near Georgia Avenue and 22nd Street and attempted to block Lewis’ escape by using his patrol vehicle, The Kansas City Star reported.
Lewis drew a handgun and fired multiple rounds through the passenger side window of Capt. Melton’s car.
“The suspect produced a handgun and fired several shots into the passenger side of Captain Melton’s patrol car through the window, which was halfway down,” Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler told WDAF. “At the time of the shooting, Captain Melton was trying to exit his patrol car to engage the suspect.”
“Captain Melton was shot several times and officers at the scene begin rendering aid immediately,” Chief Zeigler said.
The captain was rushed to a local hospital but had no heartbeat or blood pressure when he arrived, The Kansas City Star reported.
“Despite our best efforts, the officer was pronounced [dead] at 2:55 p.m.,” trauma surgeon James Howard said during a press conference at the hospital.
Capt. Melton had three children and his girlfriend was pregnant with his fourth child when he was killed, WDAF reported.
Lewis’ capital murder trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 5, according to The Kansas City Star.