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McGinnis will never
‘live as a free man’

A man who murdered a Platte City man and then raped that man’s wife has been sentenced to two life terms, plus 115 years in prison. Jacob E. McGinnis, 27, of Kansas City, was sentenced last week for first degree murder, rape, first degree burglary, and two counts of armed criminal action.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said, “This is a fitting end to a long ordeal for this family. Jacob McGinnis not only killed a husband and father and raped a mother, but he stole the childhoods of the children involved in this awful crime. At least those children now know this defendant will never walk the streets again.”

Judge Abe Shafer sentenced McGinnis to life in prison without eligibility for probation or parole for murder, the maximum sentence of life in prison for forcible rape, the maximum sentence of 15 years for burglary, and 50 years each on two counts of armed criminal action. Shafer ordered the sentences to run consecutively, or back-to-back.

Shafer’s sentence follows a week-long trial in October where prosecutors proved McGinnis killed a Platte City man and then returned to the man’s home, where McGinnis raped the man’s wife.

Trial testimony indicated that Platte City police were dispatched to the scene of a 911 hang up call at 1:43 a.m. on September 10, 2005. A woman there reported McGinnis held a shotgun on her and raped her.

The victim said McGinnis and her husband were best friends, and McGinnis had been at her and her husband’s home earlier that night. Hours later, the rape victim’s husband was found murdered near I-29 and Bethel Road.

Detectives testified that the murder victim had three gunshot wounds to his back. Police found three spent 12-gauge shotgun rounds at the murder scene, Camel cigarette butts, empty Natural Light beer cans, and an empty red bag of peanuts.

When police searched McGinnis’ residence, they found empty cans of Natural Light beer, an empty Camel cigarette pack, and several red bags of peanuts.

McGinnis was arrested September 10, 2005, in Putnam County, Missouri. Police searched McGinnis’ vehicle. They found blood on the outside of the vehicle, a bag of peanuts, red shotgun shells similar to the shells found at the murder scene, and a shotgun.

The victim testified that after raping her, the defendant told her “I’m sorry, I think I’ve scarred you for life.” She also testified that her son, who was awake during her rape, now experiences recurring nightmares about “Mommy screaming.” She said her daughter, who was not at home the night of the murder and rape, also suffers from the crime’s aftermath.

McGinnis had pled not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and presented expert evidence suggesting he suffered from schizophrenia. However, a psychologist from the Missouri Department of Mental Health and a psychiatrist hired by Zahnd’s office testified that McGinnis did not meet the legal standard of insanity. They testified McGinnis exaggerated any mental problems he suffered.

Zahnd said, “This defendant tried to hide behind his alleged mental problems in an effort to escape punishment for his evil acts. Fortunately, the court saw clearly through his smokescreen and made sure he will never live as a free man.”

The case was investigated by the Platte City and Kansas City Police Departments. Zahnd tried the case personally, with his First Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gibson and Assistant Prosecutor Amy Ashelford.



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