An Independence, Mo., man is facing multiple charges after being accused of opening fire on a couple in another car during a road rage incident, killing a 19-year-old father-to-be and injuring his pregnant girlfriend as the couple were on their way home from a sonogram appointment.
According to the Kansas City Star, John C. Young, 45, is facing charges of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action in the incident that left 19-year-old Christopher Hutson dead.
Prosecutors requested a $250,000 cash bond.
Hutson was shot and killed the afternoon of May 25 after an encounter with another motorist, authorities say. His girlfriend, who is seven months pregnant and was sitting in the passenger seat, was grazed by the bullet that killed Hutson.
Police say the couple were heading home after a sonogram appointment when they became lost and disoriented in rush hour traffic. Hutson was driving the vehicle in which the couple were slowly traveling, both of them checking their phones to get their bearings, police said.
When they stopped for a red light, a blue sedan pulled up alongside them and the driver began to curse at them.
“Learn to [expletive] drive,” the man said before driving off.
Hutson tailgated the car, intending to have a conversation with the driver, but never got the chance, according to his girlfriend. The driver of the blue car pulled even with the vehicle the couple were in and fired a handgun into the front passenger window before driving on. Huston was killed from a single shot to the head.
The Star notes that the police report does not detail how or when the two vehicles might have come into contact, but noted that blue paint found on the right rear of Hutson’s vehicle matched the damage to the left rear of Young’s vehicle.
Young was arrested Friday after a tipster recognized him and his car from surveillance photos circulated by the media. The individual told police that Young was an aggressive driver who also carried a gun.
According to the report, the witness called Young before calling the police and asked Young if he was the man police were looking for.
“How did you know?” Young responded, according to authorities. Young then told the witness that he had hired a lawyer and was not at liberty to say any more.
Hutson’s girlfriend also identified Young as the shooter from a photo lineup, and officers confirmed that the license plate on Young’s car matched the one on the suspect’s car that was seen on surveillance footage.
While being interviewed by police, Young “confirmed he had a self-defense story, but wished to tell it with his attorney present,” according to the report.
The Star notes that although authorities did not release the name of Hutson’s girlfriend, a GoFundMe set up to benefit her and the baby identified her as Tailer Monroe, noting that she and Hutson had been together for four years. Their baby, a boy, is due Aug. 10, the Star reports, citing an online baby-gift-registry account.
Read more at the Kansas City Star.