Man convicted of murder in 2019 cold case in capital

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

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said 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 homicide of Calvert, who disappeared in April 2019.

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

During the investigation, Topeka Police Department officials reported that Calvert was murdered in Topeka while his body was dumped elsewhere. However, the investigation remained cold until June 2020, when partial skeletal remains were discovered at Osage Co.

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

In March 2021, Kearse was arrested for the crime and charged with a single count of first degree premeditated murder.

At the end of a 5-day trial on Friday, Kagay said a Shawnee Co. jury found Kearse guilty of 2nd degree murder. He is now due to appear for a sentencing hearing at 2.30pm on November 30.

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

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