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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Two men sentenced following 2010 murder of Shawnee liquor store owner

Posted: May 25, 2013 - 1:07pm
Updated: October 10, 2014 - 12:19pm

October 10, 2014 Update:

Bruce Julius Ashley Jr. 31
Johnson County Sheriff's Office photo
Bruce Julius Ashley Jr., 31, has been sentenced to life plus 43 months. The life sentence comes nearly four and a half years after the murder of Shawnee liquor store owner Gerry Grovenburg in May 2012.

Ashley was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery on August 15, 2014, after his cousin, Larry Marshall testified against him.
Both Ashley and Marshall eluded arrest for more than three years after the murder. Marshall testified that he was the getaway driver.

In exchange for his testimony, murder charges were dropped against Marshall and he plead guilty to lesser charges of aggravated robbery and aiding a person charged with a felony. He was sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

August 15, 2014 Update:

On May 12, 2010, a customer found 61-year-old Gerry Grovenburg shot to death behind the counter of the liquor store he and his wife had owned for 35 years.

Three years later, two men were arrested and charged in the murder. Today, both men remain in the custody of the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

Bruce Julius Ashley Jr., now 31, is on trial for first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. He entered a plea of not guilty on September 24, 2013.

Larry Marshall, now 34, is scheduled to change his not guilty plea to a guilty, as part of a plea agreement to testify against Bruce Ashley.

June 5, 2013 Update:

New information: May 28, 2013

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe is asking for the public's assistance in locating a second man allegedly involved in the murder of Shawnee liquor store owner Gerry Grovenburg.

Authorities say Bruce Julius Ashley Jr. and Larry Marshall are suspects in the May 2010 death of Mr. G's Liquor Store owner and Spring Hill resident Gerry Grovenburg. The murder allegedly occurred when their attempt to rob the store didn't go as planned.

Larry Marshall was arrested in Arkansas on May 17th and is now in the custody of the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, full report below.

Officials say, 30-year-old, Bruce Julius Ashley Jr. remains at large. His last known location was in the Kansas City area and he is believed to still be in this area.

A news release from the Johnson County District Attorney's office says, "Mr. Ashley is a fugitive from justice." The release says that Mr. Ashley should be considered armed and dangerous. District Attorney Steve Howe also said that anyone found to be helping Mr. Ashley will be charged with a felony.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of  Bruce Julius Ashley Jr. is asked to call Shawnee Police at 913-742-6795 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

The Shawnee Police Department has been assisted in this investigation by a Kansas City Metro Squad, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, the Johnson County Crime Lab, FBI, the Blytheville (Arkansas) Police Department, and the Mississippi County (Arkansas) Sheriff's Office

Updated original report:

Operation 100 News was the first to report this story, with the suspect's name and mugshot, following his arraignment. Other media followed days later. Stop getting left behind, learn how you can receive personalized alerts when news happens.

Larry Marshall, 33
Johnson County Sheriff's Office booking photo
A source familiar with the investigation tells Operation 100 News that an arrest has been made in the 2010 murder of Shawnee liquor store owner, Gerry Grovenburg. Gerry and his wife Mary Ellen Grovenburg owned Mr. G's Liquor Store, located at 7635 Quivira Road.

Johnson County Booking Records show, 33-year-old, Larry Marshall of Blytheville, Arkansas was transferred to the custody of Johnson County authorities on Friday, May 24th. Marshall has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated robbery. He is being held at the Johnson County Adult Detention Center in Olathe on a $1 million bond.

Marshall was arrested at a home in Arkansas on Friday, May 17th and later transferred to Johnson County.

Mr. G's Liquor Store 7635 Quivira Road in Shawnee
Operation 100 News - Mike Frizzell photo
Click photo to view larger
The arrest comes just over three years after a customer found Gerry Grovenburg shot to death on the floor of his business.

Court records show that the case was filed by Shawnee Police on Monday, May 13, 2013. A Johnson County Judge issued an arrest warrant for Marshall and ordered the case sealed until the suspect was in Sheriff's Office custody.

Johnson County court records of the case were unsealed when Marshall made his first court appearance on May 28th.

The murder occurred sometime before 10:30 p.m. on May 12, 2010. Grovenburg was 61-years old and had planned to retire in 2011.

On July 13, 2010, Johnson County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Larry Marshall for battery on a law enforcement officer. He was eventually sentenced to and served 10 months in jail. It is unclear if Marshall was considered a person of interest during that time.

The Kansas City Metro Squad handled the early stages of the investigation. The case was handed back to Shawnee Police after the Metro Squad detectives interviewed several persons of interest in 2010.

At that time, detectives said the suspect did not take any alcohol, merchandise or money from the business. Before disbanding, the Metro Squad released the sketch seen below. Investigators have not released a possible motive.

May 2010 person of interest sketch
Kansas City Metro Squad
Sources tell Operation 100 News that the suspect is believed to have moved out of state following the murder.

Stay with Operation 100 News on this blog and on Twitter for the latest details as they become available.

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