For Immediate Release
Dec. 2, 2022
A 24-year-old Kansas City man pleaded guilty today to fatally shooting 4-year-old Legend M. Taliferro, who was asleep the morning of June 29, 2020, when the fired bullet went into his residence and struck him, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
Ryson Ellis, dob: 7/21/1998, pleaded guilty to Murder 2nd Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and one count of Armed Criminal Action.
A Jackson County judge then sentenced Ellis to 20 years on the Murder 2nd conviction and 22 years on the Unlawful Use of a Weapon conviction, as well as 3 years on the Armed Criminal Action conviction. All sentences were set to run concurrently for a total of 22 years in prison.
Legend's mother addressed the court about how she's been left alone since her son was taken from her. "Honestly, what do you say when the best part of you is taken," she told the judge. "I have been forced to be alone every day."
After the hearing, the mother, Charron Powell, told the media that she believed the federal Operation Legend was an honor to her son. "Lots of crimes were solved, she said. "But we still have a long way to go."
According to court records, Kansas City police responded in the early morning hours of June 29, 2020, to the 1600 block of Bushman in the Citadel Apartments regarding a shooting. Someone had fired gunshots into apartment 123 from an area behind the apartment, shooting through a privacy fence and a sliding glass door. The victim was the young child, Legend M. Taliferro, who was asleep in the residence. A witness told police that the suspect had a “fade cut” and facial hair on the chin. This generally matches the description of the defendant.
A woman, according to the court records, was in the apartment at the time of the shooting and she told police she had a son with the defendant and he had assaulted her a few days before the shooting. The witness later received threatening social media messages from the defendant. The assault caused members of her family to confront the defendant. One of the family members is the father of Legend Taliferro and he resided at the apartment where the young victim was later shot. A suspect vehicle was captured on surveillance video from the night of the shooting and police determined it was a rental vehicle. Rental car records confirmed it was rented on June 23 and not returned until July 3. A witness who stated she drove the vehicle the night of the fatal shooting said the defendant got out of the vehicle near apartment 123, then she heard gun shots. He came running back to the car. She said she didn’t find out until later someone had been killed.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded guilty.