Affidavit: Shooting suspect tells police he was possessed

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Cordell M. Stewart

A Leavenworth man who is facing a murder charge reportedly told police he was possessed by his dead cousins, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by a detective.

Cordell M. Stewart, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the May 4 shooting death of Floyd E. Ross Jr.

Ross, 31, was found lying in a street in the 400 block of Kiowa Street. He had been shot multiple times.

He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.

The shooting occurred two days after Ross reportedly was accused of having an encounter at Dougherty Park with a relative of Stewart. That is according to a probable cause affidavit that was prepared May 14 by Detective Ryan Hoppe of the Leavenworth Police Department.

By law, the probable cause affidavit was not initially available to the public. A judge ordered the release of a redacted copy Tuesday following requests by the Leavenworth Times and other news agencies.

According to the affidavit, police obtained security camera footage of a man, who was initially unidentified, shooting Ross on May 4 in the 400 block of Kiowa Street.

Stewart initially was identified to police as the person allegedly responsible for the shooting through anonymous sources. A police officer was informed the shooting was connected to earlier an incident involving someone related to Stewart.

Witnesses later told police a man had jiggled the handle of a women’s bathroom stall at Dougherty Park on May 2 while the stall was occupied by a child who is related to Stewart. At least one witness identified Ross as the man who reportedly jiggled the handle.

Stewart was interviewed by a detective May 14. He initially denied knowing Ross, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Stewart was shown photographs from surveillance cameras that allegedly show him with Ross at the park the night of the shooting. Stewart also was told there was video of the shooting.

Stewart initially denied shooting Ross and asked to see the video.

According to the affidavit, Stewart later told the detective that he hears voices of dead relatives.

Stewart reportedly admitted killing Ross, saying his dead cousins told him to do it, according to the affidavit.

When he spoke to another detective, Stewart reportedly said he had been possessed by his dead cousins, according to the affidavit.

Stewart remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail. He is next scheduled to appear in court Friday.

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