Man takes plea of First Degree Murder, nearly two years to the day of fatal shooting in Independence, Kan.

Joplin News

The victim, Kimberly Meeks, left behind a young son when she was murdered in December 2019.

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INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – A Coffeyville, Kan. man has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder for a 2019 shooting death in southeast Kansas, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Tuesday.

Benjamin Job Mason II, 20, of Coffeyville, entered a no contest plea in Montgomery County District Court. Judge F. William Cullins accepted the plea to one count of first-degree murder and set sentencing for 1 p.m., February 15, 2022.

Mason was convicted for his role in the 2019 shooting death of Kimberly Meeks, 19, in Independence. It was nearly two years to the day when he was arrested at his home in Coffeyville.

The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Independence Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff and U.S. Postal Inspectors. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Michael Gayoso and Stephanie Plaschka of Schmidt’s office.

NEARLY TWO YEARS TO THE DAY … December 14, 2019, the Independence Police Department say about 6:30 P.M. they received a call reporting gunshots near the intersection of Laurel Street and Main Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Kimberly D. Meeks of Coffeyville suffering from a gunshot wound.

Meeks was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Office and the Independence Police Department indicated Meeks was walking with a white male, identified later as the father to her son, before the shooting, when an unidentified person fired gunshots from a vehicle and fled.

Mason was arrested December 15, 2019, at his home in Coffeyville.

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