COLUMBUS, Kan. — About 50 people protested Monday in Columbus at the Cherokee County Courthouse with signs and chanting to bring attention to a 2017 murder case, asking for “Justice for Tyler.”
Tyler Myers was shot and killed in February 2017 in front of his Baxter Springs home.
Wesley Smith, 23, of Joplin was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter. However in March of 2017 those charges were upgraded, but he remained out on bond.
- Murder in the First Degree – Premeditated
- Attempted Murder in the First Degree – Premeditated
Smith was taken into custody July 1, 2020 when his bond was revoked. He remains in the Cherokee County Jail, however protesters are concerned he could be let back out.
“Keep him in jail, because that’s where he needs to be. He’s a cold-blooded murderer, and nope, we have not gotten any justice, and we’re tired of it, we’re sick of it.”Samantha Johnson, ‘Justice for Tyler’ spokesperson
They are asking the judge in this case to keep him in jail until the trial scheduled for later this year in Cherokee County.
CONVERSATION WITH SAMANTHA JOHNSON, ‘JUSTICE FOR TYLER’ 7-13-20
CHEROKEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE STEPS
Q: So Samantha tell us what are you doing out here today?
JUSTICE FOR TYLER: We’re trying to get the judge on Tyler Myers (Nelson’s) murder case to step back and get Wesley Smith’s bond revoked, because he’s about to give him back his bond after he just had it revoked a week ago, knowing he was involved in a [Joplin] double-homicide, assaulting a woman, getting tased, all kinds of things that broke his bond.
Q: In Missouri those are allegations, he has not been charged in Missouri.
JUSTICE FOR TYLER: Yes, he is currently being investigated and they have videos at the Hookah Lounge. I feel like they haven’t worked very hard to get them. I’ve talked to the owner of the Hookah Lounge. I’ve talked to the bartenders working there and they said the entire reason that the [double] murder happened was because of Wesley. Also because he’s already been violent in less than a week of being in jail. He has been involved in two violent incidents already.
Q: Tell us about Tyler. What happened 3 ½ years ago?
JUSTICE FOR TYLER: Tyler was murdered in his front porch area. He walked outside and in less than 15 seconds, his girlfriend and my brother, Daniel, was inside and within 15 seconds they heard multiple shots. And Mindy Butterfield, the one that was there with Wesley, ran outside and watched Wesley shoot him in the back. And [Smith is] now 3.5 years later no trial.
Q: He’s been out on bond.
JUSTICE FOR TYLER: Yes, out on bond that he’s missed his parole officer visits for, no UA in over six months, just multiple counts where it’s very confusing why he is not in jail.
Q: So what are you asking for today specifically?
JUSTICE FOR TYLER: [For the judge] to keep him in jail. That’s where he needs to be. He’s like a cold-blooded murderer, and nope, we have not gotten any justice, and we’re tired of it, and we’re sick of it.”