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JCPAO Press Releases

Posted on: May 9, 2019

Judge sentences Joseph Gonsalez to 54 years in prison for fatal shooting of Elizabeth Richards

For Immediate Release

May 9, 2019

A Jackson County judge today sentenced to 54 years in a Missouri prison Joseph Gonsalez, who was convicted in March in the fatal shooting in January 2018 of Elizabeth K. Richards, 19, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

The judge sentenced Gonsalez, 12/22/1994, to 15 years for Voluntary Manslaughter, 25 years for Armed Criminal Action, 7 years for Endangering the Welfare of a Child and 7 years on a second Armed Criminal Action conviction. The judge set all sentences to run consecutively.

In March, a Jackson County jury convicted Gonsalez and recommended up to 54 years in sentences.

According to court records, police discovered the victim on the floor of a residence near 111th and College Avenue. She was bound by duct tape and had suffered a fatal gunshot to the head. Officers also contacted the defendant who had suffered a gunshot wound. The defendant's mother told police he shared custody of a 2-year-old child with the victim. The day of the homicide, he had asked her to leave the residence because she was coming over to drop the child. Later, she discovered a missed call. A message left by her son included him arguing with the victim and what sounded like a gunshot. When they returned to the residence, they found her on the floor. The  2-year-old was also in the residence. The mother of the defendant told police she removed duct tape that covered the victim's mouth. Surveillance video showed him purchasing duct tape.

Assistant Jackson County Prosecutors Kristiane Bryant and Crispin Rea prosecuted the case on behalf of the state of Missouri.

For more information, contact:

Michael Mansur

Director of Communication

Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office

Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor

Work   : (816) 881-3812

Mobile: (816) 674-3954

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