The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

May 1, 2012

Suspect in Pittsburg home invasion shot

Prosecutor says shooting not a case of self-defense

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Authorities are treating the shooting of a suspect in a home-invasion assault and robbery in Pittsburg by a friend of the victim’s as a case of attempted murder and not self-defense.

Three men remained in jail Tuesday and a fourth was being sought in connection with the case that developed shortly before midnight Saturday at 1122 S. Elm St.

According to a Pittsburg Police Department news release, one of the suspects in the home invasion, Mitchell Owens, 18, of Kansas City, was shot in the hip with a .22-caliber rifle. Owens was taken to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg and treated for the wound before being arrested and booked into the Crawford County Jail on charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and misdemeanor battery.

Police said a second man arrested in the incident, Kyle S. Taggart, 27, of Pittsburg, is accused of shooting Owens. Police identified Taggart as a friend of John R. Carver, 19, an occupant of the home where the assault and robbery took place. Taggart is charged with first-degree attempted murder.

“Upon reviewing a probable-cause affidavit, our office determined this was not a case of self-defense,” Crawford County Attorney Michael Gayoso told the Globe.

The affidavit is not public record in Kansas, and Gayoso declined to discuss details of the case any further than to acknowledge that Carver is the alleged victim in the charges filed against Owens and against a third man arrested in the case, Stephen J. Dibble, 24, of Pittsburg. Like Owens, Dibble is charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and misdemeanor battery.

A third suspect in the home invasion that preceded the shooting is still being sought, according to police.

Police have not provided any details of what took place at Carver’s house and did not return calls from the Globe on Monday and Tuesday. A complaint filed in Crawford County District Court states that an Xbox video game system was taken from the residence during the home invasion.

The Police Department’s news release stated that Carver also was arrested initially in connection with firing shots into the ground with the rifle with which Taggart allegedly shot Owens. But Carver was released without any charge being filed.



Bond amounts

KYLE TAGGART remained in custody Tuesday at the county jail on a $100,000 bond. The bond amount for Mitchell Owens was set at $25,000. The court is requiring a cash-only bond of $50,000 for Stephen Dibble.

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