December 5, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster today said that Judge Charles McKenzie sentenced Tawanda Kunonga, 29, of Kansas City, to consecutive life sentences on December 4 for first degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of Latoya Hopkins of Raytown. A Jackson County jury found Kunonga guilty October 29.
Kunonga murdered his ex-girlfriend Latoya Hopkins in her home in June 2010 by stabbing her and beating her with a meat tenderizer. Kunonga left his fingerprint and palm print in the victim's blood and his DNA was found at the crime scene.
"While nothing can lessen the loss for the victim's friends and family, the two consecutive life sentences for her killer brings some measure of justice," Koster said.
The defendant represented himself throughout the pre-trial proceedings and throughout the seven day jury trial.
Assistant attorneys general Julie Tolle and Monty Platz served as special prosecutors in the case.