Crime & Courts

Death penalty an option in case of 4 KC killings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A Wyandotte County district judge ruled Tuesday that evidence supports capital murder and other charges against a man accused of four murders.

After the ruling, County District Attorney Jerome Gorman immediately filed for the death penalty against Adrian Burks, 38.

Burks pleaded not guilty, and his attorney declined to comment.

Gasps, sobs and curses rang out from family members during the preliminary hearing when Gorman told how their loved ones were shot repeatedly on June 22.

Even 3-year-old Juanita Castleberry-Bess was shot six times, he said, and her mother, Peggy Castleberry, 41, was shot five times. Amanda Remmers, 21, was shot 11 times, with eight of those in the back, he said.

James Warren, 66, who was allowing the others to stay at his house in Kansas City, Kan., died with the others there from four bullet wounds.

Police say the rampage was triggered by domestic violence because Burks was angry at Remmers.

Judge Ernest Johnson ruled that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to support all charges against Burks, including an aggravated battery charge from earlier that day and a charge of fleeing police the next day.

In closing arguments on the murder evidence, Gorman noted that two witnesses were parked in the driveway when Burks arrived at the house carrying a gun.

He told them "they needed to get out of there," Gorman said, and later called them and said, "Don't go back there — nothing is moving."

Another witness also saw Burks come out of the woods near there carrying a gun and then leave in his van, which he strategically parked so those at the house could not see him coming, the prosecutor said.

All of that and the multiple gunshot wounds are evidence of planned murder, Gorman said.