July 7, 2020
Former KCPD officer was sentenced Tuesday to probation and shock time in a county jail for vehicular fatality outside Arrowhead Stadium in October 2018, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
In June, Terrell E. Watkins, dob: 2/25/1985, pleaded guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter 1st Degree, two counts of Assault 2nd Degree and the misdemeanor count of Careless and Imprudent Driving.
On Tuesday, Watkins was sentenced to 10 years on the Involuntary Manslaughter conviction, and 7 years on Assault 2nd Degree, to be served consecutively. The sentence was suspended as part of the plea agreement, and Watkins was ordered to complete 3 years of probation. He also was sentenced to 120 days in a county jail on the two other counts he pleaded guilty to in June, Assault 2nd Degree and Careless and Imprudent Driving.
In a sentencing memorandum submitted to the court, the prosecutor’s office detailed the plea agreement, noted that immediate family members of the victim agreed with the terms of the agreement and reported that the agreement was consistent with resolutions in similar cases in which involuntary manslaughter was the lead charge. The sentencing memo filed by the prosecutor’s office is linked below.
According to court records filed today, on Oct. 21, 2018, a few minutes after 4 p.m., just a few hours before the Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to play a Sunday night NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a Kansas City police officer driving a blue KCPD Ford Van struck the rear of a red Mitsubishi Lancer caught up in traffic congestion outside the Truman Sports Complex at the Stadium Drive exit off of Interstate 435. The driver of the vehicle struck by the police van, Chandan Rajanna, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two passengers in the vehicle were injured in the crash. Watkins was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Witnesses told police the blue police van was observed traveling at a high rate of speed north on I-435, just north of Bannister Road. Records revealed the defendant was employed off-duty as security for the Chiefs and was due to report at 4 p.m. Data from the police van’s Airbag Control Module showed the van was traveling 76 mph less than a second prior to impact with the victim’s vehicle. The defendant’s phone records revealed his phone was actively in use in the moments immediately preceding his report of the crash to police dispatch.
The defendant is no longer employed by the Kansas City Police Department.