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'Talked themselves into jail': attorney says of Chiefs rally shooting suspects

By Jessica McMaster,

2024-02-27
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A Kansas City-area attorney who specializes in weapons and self defense said the Chiefs rally shooting suspects could have a case for self defense, but ultimately, they “both went on to do and say stupid things” that are hard to defend.

The stupidity started from the beginning, said Kevin Jamison, a defense attorney.

According to prosecutors, the shooting stemmed from two groups arguing over whether or not they were staring at each other.

“Of all the nasty things I’ve been called in my life, I’ve never felt compelled to step up and get in the guy’s face and challenge him to a shootout,” Jamison said. “That’s just stupid.”

According to probable cause documents, Lyndell Mays, one of the suspects charged with second-degree murder, is seen on surveillance video arguing with a group of people after the parade rally.

RELATED | 2 charged with 2nd-degree murder in connection to Chiefs parade shooting

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker said Mays pulled his gun first.

According to police, Mays claims he felt threatened when one of the men told him “I’m going to get you.”

"That is the start of a self-defense claim," Jamison said. “But then he says that he shot at somebody‘s back as they were running away.”

According to the probable cause, Mays admitted to running after someone and shooting at the person.

“Even if the other side started the fight, once they’re running away — that’s withdrawal,” Jamison said. “Once the conflict (ends) shooting at all is not legal, it’s not moral, it’s prison conduct.”

Dominic Miller is the second man charged with second-degree murder in this case.

Police said his bullet matches the one that struck and killed Lisa Lopez-Galvan , a beloved Kansas City mother and DJ.

According to Peters Baker, once Mays pulled his gun, several others pulled out their guns and started shooting.

This included Miller.

Jamison said Miller’s response could be seen as self defense, except Miller was not part of the initial crowd that was arguing with Mays.

According to the probable cause documents, Miller is seen joining the crowd after the argument began.

“He walked toward the argument — going toward the argument is almost always a bad thing,” Jamison said.

Jamison teaches self-defense classes where he offers the advice, “don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things.”

As for Miller, based off the probable cause records, Jamison said, “he didn’t go to a stupid place but, he did go with stupid people and he did do stupid things.”

Court records show Mays told authorities he was “just being stupid” when fired at someone near a crowd, which included children.

Several kids were shot. It’s not known how many shooters account for the bullets that hit children and other innocent bystanders.

Jamison said the first thing a person needs to prove when claiming self defense is that they’re an innocent party.

“You can’t start a problem and expect people to believe you’re acting in self defense," he said.

The KSHB I-Team first reported Mays spent five days in jail and was placed on probation for pulling out a gun at a community center basketball game in 2021.

While it as Miller’s bullet that is believed to be the bullet that killed Lopez Galvan, whether or not Miller is guilty of murder depends on the intent of his bullet, said Jamison.

“If he (Miller) intended to murder Mr. Mays then the intent follows the bullet and he’s guilty of murder,” Jamison said. “If he intended to defend himself against Mr. Mays, then the intent also follows the bullet and he can raise the self-defense claim.”

Dawn Parson, who worked for the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for more than 20 years, agrees there are elements of self-defense in both instances.

“Whether it works or not and if it’s successful, yes it is a complete defense and they would walk out the door,” Parson said.

Jamison said the suspects made a mistake by speaking with police without an attorney.

“These guys talked themselves into jail,” Jamison said.

However, the prosecution could face a hurdle with their witness statements since the statements were taken while Mays and Miller were being treated in the hospital, said Jamison.

The family of Lyndell Mays told the Kansas City Star Mays was on opioids at the time of his interview with police.

The family claims Mays was defending himself during the shooting

“If they were on drugs when they gave these statements, I would impeach the validity of the statements,” Jamison said, “It is the definition of unreliable testimony.”

Still, Jamison argues at this point, the case is in favor of the prosecutor.

Based on the probable cause statements, Jamison said a series of stupid decisions were made, which are hard to defend.

“Given the emotions around this, this is gonna be a tough case (for a defense),” Jamison said. “These people were involved in a gun fight on a city street — a person was killed. They’re all in deep, deep trouble.”


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