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Kansas City area woman convicted of first-degree murder related to 2017 fatal shooting

Bill Lukitsch
·1 min read

A Jackson County jury has issued a guilty verdict against a Greenwood woman accused of first-degree murder, recommending life without parole in the death of a 52-year-old man fatally shot inside his Kansas City apartment in 2017.

Caitlyn Riffle, 28, was found guilty Friday of the first-degree murder charge brought by state prosecutors along with a lesser charge of armed criminal action, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced. Riffle is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

According to court documents, Riffle was an accomplice of alleged trigger-man Patrick Powell, who was convicted by jury trial two years ago in the killing of Rodney Thurber. She was accused of conspiring with Powell to kill Thurber.

In interviews with police, Riffle allegedly stated she was living with Powell at the time of the murder and had asked that a handgun be stashed in Thurber’s residence. Shortly before Thurber was killed, a witness who lived with Thurber told police a woman later identified as Riffle had come to the apartment to retrieve the handgun.

In November 2017, officers responded to a shooting call in the 4600 block of Tracy Avenue. They found Thurber with multiple gunshot wounds, court records state, and he was declared dead at the scene.

The witness to the shooting told police she and Thurber were inside the apartment when a man later identified as Powell knocked on the door. The witness and Thurber were answering the door as Powell allegedly burst in and shot Thurber twice.

Powell was accused of taunting Thurber and shooting him again as he lay on the apartment floor, court records state.