KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A man charged this week for the murders of a Kansas City, Kansas, couple in a deadly Christmas Day crash is already in prison due to his previous criminal history.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree’s office filed charges against Jesse Acosta, 26, earlier this week.
Acosta is accused of killing Delia and Mario Madruga, both of them in their 80s.
The Madrugas were the parents of Wyandotte County Judge Delia York and the in-laws of Kansas City, Kansas Police Chief Michael York.
In addition to the two murder charges, Acosta is also accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer, eluding police and theft.
Acosta’s arrest also comes with a significant change to information first publicly released about the fatal crash.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Report, Kansas City, Kansas Police were pursuing a stolen pickup truck when the fatal crash happened.
The report states after the crash, both the unidentified driver and passenger in the stolen pickup truck ran from the scene, but only the passenger was caught.
However, Dupree’s spokesman Jonathan Carter told the I-Team despite what the crash report states, there was no passenger in the stolen pickup truck, only Acosta who was behind the wheel and was caught after he fled the crash scene.
Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Thomas Spencer called the original crash report “preliminary information.”
Spencer said that report stating there was both a driver and a passenger was wrong.
“It is not uncommon for preliminary information to change,” Spencer wrote in an email to the I-Team.
Wyandotte County Court records show Jesse Acosta was arrested on the day of the deadly crash and charged with a probation violation from a 2017 drug case.
However, Dupree’s office didn’t charge him with any crime related to the deadly crash until this week.
According to Carter, it took time for the investigation to reach that point.
Long-time Wyandotte County defense attorney James Spies spoke to the I-Team March 11 before Acosta was charged in the deadly crash.
Spies is not involved in the case.
But he questions why Dupree’s office didn’t immediately charge Acosta with some crime after his arrest at the fatal crash site.
“I think at a minimum, the state of Kansas would’ve charged him with interference with a law enforcement officer,” Spies said in March.
Instead, Carter said Dupree’s office was able to get Acosta’s probation revoked in January on his 2017 drug case.
Carter said those probation violations include Acosta failing to report to his supervising officer, failing to report for a urinalysis test, failing to comply with treatment and failing to make payments for court costs and fees.
As a result of that probation revocation, Carter said Acosta is currently in prison at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
The I-Team has also learned Acosta had a run in with law enforcement in Missouri two years ago.
Court records show Independence Police arrested Acosta in 2019 after they found him in possession of a stolen handgun following a police pursuit.
Independence Police spokesman Officer John Syme said the case was sent to federal authorities.
But to date, that case has not been prosecuted.
Spies believes had that case moved forward, it’s possible the deadly Christmas Day crash might not have happened.
“There’s a very real possibility that this individual may never have been out of custody, out on the streets,” Spies said in March.
Acosta is also listed as a witness in the state’s case against Andres Cabrera-Contreras, 26.
As the I-Team reported in March, Cabrera-Contreras was the first person charged in connection to the deadly Christmas Day crash.
He’s charged with possession of the stolen pickup truck and interference with law enforcement.
“He’s saying he’s not in any way associated with this truck,” Cabrera-Contreras’ attorney Michael Hunter said.
According to Hunter, Cabrera-Contreras claims he was helping jump start the pickup truck when investigators now say Acosta stole the truck and led police on a high-speed chase leading to the deadly crash.
Hunter also said court records indicate Acosta was found with a screwdriver in his pocket which could’ve been used to steal the pickup truck.
Carter said Cabrera-Contreras won’t be charged with any additional crimes in the case.
Carter also said Acosta will be held at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility on that 2017 drug case probation violation until May.
His detention terms for the new charges against him from the Christmas Day deadly crash are pending.