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Teen is charged with felony murder after homeowner shoots intruder

Originally ran here as:
"Teen is charged with felony murder after homeowner shoots intruder"
by Christine Vendel, Staff Writer
The Kansas City Star
April 05, 2002

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- Jackson County prosecutors on Thursday charged a Kansas City youth with murder following a burglary in which a homeowner fatally shot an intruder.

James M. Evans, 17, was charged with burglary and felony murder. Missouri law allows prosecutors to file felony murder charges in felonies that lead to a person's death. He was in jail Thursday night. Bond was set at $50,000.

Two juveniles thought to be involved in the break-in were questioned Wednesday and released to their parents. Detectives said the investigation was continuing.

The incident began about 10 a.m. Wednesday, when a homeowner in the 300 block of Mersington Avenue heard noises from the basement of his one-story house. Court records gave this account:

He grabbed his .38-caliber revolver from under his bed and left the bedroom to investigate. He encountered a burglar in his kitchen and asked him what he was doing there.

The burglar, later identified Victor Fuentes, 18, of Kansas City, began to raise his hands with an object in his left hand. The homeowner thought it was a weapon and shot at least twice. The object in Fuentes' hand turned out to be a walkie-talkie.

Fuentes stumbled toward the door and collapsed. The homeowner then saw a man in a white coat standing outside his house. The man got into a light-blue car, which sped off.

Fuentes was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Later Wednesday, police found a light-blue car in the 400 block of Jackson Avenue. Police traced it to Evans' home, according to court records, and they found Evans inside the house.

The records said the youths planned to burglarize the home on Mersington, staying in contact through the walkie-talkies. Fuentes was supposed to break in, come through the house, and then open the front door for Evans and the two juveniles, according to records.

To reach Christine Vendel, police reporter, call (816) 234-4438

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