KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a North Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today on two counts of illegally possessing a firearm, following the court’s finding that he was involved in the murder of an Independence, Mo., man in 2015.
DeMarko L. Collins, 28, of North Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to nine years on each count to run consecutively to each other, for a total of 18 years in federal prison without parole.
The court granted the government’s motion for a sentence longer than the penalty recommended under the federal sentencing guidelines due to Collins’s violent characteristics and criminal history. In particular, the court ruled there was sufficient evidence that Collins was involved in a murder for which he has not been charged in state court, and which should be considered in imposing an appropriate sentence in this federal case.
On Sept. 1, 2016, Collins pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to possessing a stolen firearm. Collins has remained in federal custody since his arrest on Sept. 30, 2015.
At the time of this offense, Collins was being investigated regarding his involvement in the Sept. 18, 2015, murder of David Duncan. Evidence introduced at today’s sentencing hearing indicated that, over the course of two days, Collins had staked out Duncan’s home in Independence, Mo. When Duncan arrived at his home the morning of Sept. 18, 2015, a man stepped out of a vehicle – an orange Dodge Journey – and shot him multiple times with a rifle. Investigators utilized a security camera at a nearby gas station, which depicted the orange Dodge Journey stopping for gas a couple of hours before the fatal shooting. Collins was identified as the driver of the vehicle, which was registered to his girlfriend.
Officers executed a search warrant at Collins’s apartment on Sept. 30, 2015. During the search, officers found a Heckler & Koch .45-caliber pistol in a cabinet in the kitchen (not the same firearm used to murder Duncan). The firearm had been reported as stolen. Collins was arrested.
According to court documents, Duncan had been feuding with Collins, who believed that Duncan had paid someone to murder Collins’s cousin.
Collins was a member of the Crips street gang who referred to himself as “the biggest gang member in Kansas City.” Collins admitted to trafficking in multiple pounds of marijuana (selling an estimated 200 pounds in the months prior to his arrest).
Collins has also admitted to stabbing two inmates while he was previously incarcerated in federal prison, according to court documents. Collins was sentenced on March 4, 2009, to six years and eight months in federal prison after pleading guilty to carjacking.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Collins also has prior felony convictions for tampering and robbery. Collins was three months removed from parole on his robbery conviction at the time of the homicide
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.