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JCPAO Press Releases

Posted on: July 15, 2019

KC woman, 39, sentenced to 15 years in vehicular killing of James A. Palmer.

For Immediate Release: 

July 15, 2019

Prosecutors argued for sentencing in the case of State v. Riana S. Sanders (1816-CR02193-01) on Friday, July 12, 2019. The defendant pleaded guilty to the Class C Felony of Involuntary Manslaughter in the First Degree on May 22, 2019.The charges stemmed from events from May 1, 2018, where the defendant's vehicle was stopped by KCPD officers after striking a car in the area of 39th Street and Gillham at roughly 2:45 in the afternoon. As officers asked the Defendant to roll her window down, she fled the scene at a high rate of speed where she then ran a stop sign at 35th Street and Euclid. As she entered that intersection, the Defendant struck the Chevrolet Tahoe of James A. Palmer, 23. Palmer was transported to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries. 

In argument, prosecutors highlighted the Defendant's status as a prior and persistent offender, a status that elevates the number of years the Defendant could serve in prison to 15 from the conventional 10 under the statute. Prosecutors argued James A. Palmer was a young and present member of his family; he was taken two days shy of his 24th birthday. Prosecutors asked Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Bryan Round to impose the maximum sentence under the law - 15 years on the Defendant. The Judge heard argument from prosecutors and defense counsel and issued his ruling from the bench. 

Defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the C Felony of Involuntary Manslaughter in the First Degree. 

Jared D. Bustamante

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office

Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor

P: 816.881.3538

F: 816.674.3954

Charging Document(s)
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