by Alan McArthur
Guilty of first degree murder and armed criminal action. The jury of 10 women and two men found Webber Douglas Gilmer, 55, guilty on both counts on Friday.
Gilmer was charged with shooting and killing Brian Harrell, 28, on March 16, 2007.
According to Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecutor, Gilmer had rented an apartment to Brandi Harrell while she and Brian were separated, but they were reconciling and were preparing to move to Oklahoma.
Brian, Brandi, and John Harrell, Brian's brother, showed up on March 16th to move Brandi's belongings from the apartment in the 8200 block of NW Everton near Barry Road.
Gilmer was waiting for them at the apartment and the Kansas City Police were called. The police told Gilmer he could not keep them from the apartment.
The Harrells left and went to lunch, when they returned they did not find Gilmer there and Brian forced open the door to the apartment and they began to load items from the apartment.
When Gilmer returned he called 911 and told them he was going to kill Brian, and after a short struggle Brian was shot three times in the chest. A 911 call by Brian caught the sound of the shooting taking place at the apartment.
After the shooting, Gilmer fell or was pushed down the stairs outside the apartment, injuring his neck and back.
Another 911 call captured Brandi yelling “he's dead” to Gilmer about Brian. Gilmer then responds, “I don't give a (expletive).” Gilmer then shot Brian again in the knee.
“This defendant called police to promise he would murder someone. Then, he made good on his promise. I am pleased the jury made good on its promise to render a true and just verdict by convicting the defendant and ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” said Zahnd.
“Because of modern technology, every single second of this crime was documented by cell phone calls to 911,” said Zahnd. “The jury heard the defendant calling to promise a murder and also heard the victim's last words as well as his wife's valiant but unsuccessful struggle to save her husband's life. While the 911 system could not save Brian Harrell, it brought his killer to justice.”
Sentencing is scheduled to be held on Thursday, Dec. 4. The only sentence available for first degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole or probation. Gilmer is still being held in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Judge Lee Hull presided over the trial at the Platte County Courthouse. The case was investigated by the Kansas City Police Department with the assistance of the Platte County Sheriff's Department. Zahnd and assistant prosecutors Mark Gibson and Jaclyn Taylor prosecuted the trial.
Listen to the 911 phone calls below:
Gilmer's 911 calls
Brian Harrell's 911 calls