Judge sentences Kansas City man convicted of murdering ex-wife amid child custody dispute

A Jackson County judge on Wednesday sentenced a 41-year-old Kansas City man to life in prison plus 20 years in the killing of his ex-wife six years ago.

John Frazier, convicted of first-degree murder, faced a mandatory minimum of life in prison without the possibility of parole in the August 2017 shooting of Tamara Randolph, 36. He was sentenced to another 20 years on his conviction of armed criminal action, Jackson County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Frazier and Randolph divorced in 2016. They were sharing custody of their two boys, 7 and 9 years old, when Randolph was fatally shot.

Frazier stopped following the custody agreement, according to court documents, and Randolph had sought help through civil court but continued to be denied visitation with the children. On the afternoon of Aug. 2, 2017, Randolph showed up at Frazier’s house in Kansas City and left a note on the door concerning the children.

Frazier drove back to his house after receiving a phone call that Randolph was knocking on the door. After speaking with Randolph outside, Frazier went into the house and its home surveillance system suddenly went offline.

A Kansas City gunshot alert system, ShotSpotter, detected seven gunshots coming from the area of 37th Street and Woodland Avenue.

Frazier called 911 to report the shooting, saying he acted in self-defense. He told them Randolph pulled a gun on him.

Officers responded to find Randolph face down in a driveway. Five of her gunshot wounds were determined by the medical examiner’s office to have entered through her back.

Police located a handgun near Randolph’s body. It was later determined to have been first purchased by Frazier in 2005. Their children, when interviewed by authorities, said they never saw her carry a firearm.

The judge’s sentence Wednesday followed recommendations made by the Jackson County jury that convicted Frazier in May.