Independence man charged in death of mom’s fiance

Sunday, October 5, 2008 | 4:45 p.m. CDT

INDEPENDENCE — Prosecutors say they have charged a 21-year-old Independence man in the shooting death of his mother's fiance at his home.

John J. Horton Jr. was charged Sunday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Stephen Batton. Police say Batton's girlfriend and another woman late Saturday flagged down a Kansas City officer, who found the victim's body on the rear floor of their car.

Another car containing Horton and two others arrived, and police arrested Horton.

Court records say Batton and his fiancee had been drinking with another couple and were visiting Horton's home when they began arguing.

Police said Horton told them he grabbed a gun to scare Batton, and it accidentally went off during a struggle. Horton's mother said there was no altercation before Batton was shot.


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