For Immediate Release
April 26, 2019
A Jackson County judge sentenced Benjamin Byers, 46, to life in prison for the murder of his wife whose body was found after a child told a school counselor that she'd seen a dead body in her home, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
The judge sentenced Byers to life in prison for his conviction of Murder 1st Degree and 10 years for convictions of Armed Criminal Action and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. A judge set those 10 year sentences to run consecutively to the life sentence.
A Jackson County jury, in March, convicted Byers in the 2017 murder of his wife, Melissa Byers, whose body was found in the basement of her residence.
According to court records, a child told a school counselor that she had seen a dead body in the basement of her home. Officers responded to the residence in the 2400 block of College. They found the defendant, who stated he didn't know where his wife was. Officers found blood drops in the home; they also saw apparent blood on the walls in the living area of the residence, the kitchen and on the base of the basement steps, as well as what appeared to be drag markings. A large section of carpet had been removed from the dining room of the residence. In the basement, police found the victim's body covered with carpet, plastic, sheets and clothing. The Medical Examiner ruled the victim's death a homicide, the result of multiple stab wounds.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Daniel Portnoy and Audrey McCormick prosecuted the case on behalf of the state of Missouri.
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.
Benjaminn H. Byers, dob: 11/26/1972, faces Murder 2nd Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Abandonment of a Corpse and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.*
According to court records, Kansas City Police officers were dispatched to a Kansas City public school where a child had told a counselor that she has seen a dead body in her home. Officers then responded to the home in the 2400 block of College and encountered the defendant, the father of the child who reported the body. Officers noticed drops of blood throughout the house and found a tarp with carpet on it and blood all around it in the basement. The child told a forensic interviewer at the Child Protection Center that she last saw her mother on Monday when she was picked up at school. Her father picked her up on Tuesday. She said he was acting weird and drinking. She also stared she had gone to the basement and observed a dead body that had been stabbed in the back. The clothing on the body belonged to her mother, she stated. When a family acquaintance told her he was coming over, her father told her not to open the door and stay out of the basement.
Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000.
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