Man found guilty of 2019 cold case murder in Capital City

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Claude Kearse has been convicted of the cold case murder of Darius Calvert who was killed in Topeka in 2019 and found in Osage Co. in 2020.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay says on Friday, Sept. 16, that Claude Rafael Kearse was convicted of the 2019 murder of Darius Emmanuel Calvert.

In 2021, DA Kagay noted that Kearse was charged with the cold case homicide of Calvert, who had gone missing in April of 2019.

On May 8, 2019, court records indicate that Calvert was reported missing after he had not been seen or heard from since April 26.

During the investigation, officials from the Topeka Police Department reported that Calvert had been murdered in Topeka while his body had been disposed of somewhere else. However, the investigation remained cold until June 2020 when partial skeletal remains were discovered in Osage Co.

In December 2020, court records noted that DNA analysis on the recovered remains had confirmed that it was Calvert.

In March 2021, Kearse was arrested for the crime and charged with a single count of Premeditated Murder in the First Degree.

On Friday, at the end of a 5-day trial, Kagay said a Shawnee Co. jury found Kearse guilty of Murder in the 2nd Degree. He is now scheduled to appear for a sentencing hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 30.

The DA said he was pleased with the result of this case and gave credit to the 2-year investigation into Calvert’s disappearance by TPD. Through collaboration between TPD and the DA Cold Case Investigator, he said they were able to revive the case after it had turned cold and all leads had been exhausted.

Kagay also commended the work of those who were involved in the investigation, as well as Deputy DA Will many and the trial team for their work in the prosecution of the case.

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