Labette County Sheriff’s detain Independence homicide suspect for a separate crime

LABETTE COUNTY, Kan – Labette County deputies detain suspect wanted for a double homicide in Independence, Kansas for a separate crime.

Labette County Deputies responded to assist Chetopa Police in regard to a robbery at the Chetopa Mall on Sunday, October 18th at 1:40 A.M.

Investigators determined the robbery suspects fled the scene in a vehicle heading eastbound crossing the Neosho River.

A vehicle matching the description was seen in Cherokee County on U.S. HIghway 166 heading back towards Chetopa; Cherokee County Sheriff’s turned around to pursue the vehicle, but the suspects vehicle increased speed.

A Chetopa police officer accompanied by a Labette County Deputy intercepted the vehicle as it reentered the Chetopa City limits.

In the car, authorities found a loaded handgun; Upon futher insepction, they found the gun had been stolen from Pittsburg, Kansas; Authorities also found methamphetamine, as well as items used to package the drug.

The suspects were identified as 18-year-old James T. Gofourth of Independence, Kansas, 35-year-old Rachael N. Westman of Independence, Kansas, and 34-year-old Jacob D. Musgrove of Independence, Kansas.

The suspects were then transported to the Labette County Jial and are held on a $50,000 bond.

James T. Gofourth is also being held on a warrant issued Montgomery County for two counts of 1st Degree Murder, and one count of attempted 1st Degree Murder.

James T. Gofourth is being held without bond related to these charges.