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Missouri Woman, 22, Indicted for Murder of Man Who ‘Was Music’ and Had a ‘Heart of Gold’

McKayla Cheyenne Archambeau appears in a mugshot.

McKayla Cheyenne Archambeau appears in a mugshot.

A Missouri woman was recently indicted for the murder of man who was killed in early summer of this year. A man was also indicted for relatively minor crimes in connection with the slaying.

McKayla Cheyenne Archambeau, 22, stands accused of one count each of murder in the second degree, armed criminal action, tampering with evidence, and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Cordero T. Cervantes, 32, was indicted on one count each of tampering with evidence and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Grand jurors in Platte County handed up the charges on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, according to Kansas City, Missouri NBC affiliate KSHB. The pair were identified as persons of interest within several hours after the shooting death of 31-year-old Taylor Hawkins in late June of this year, according to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office.

The deceased man’s obituary details his cut-short life and some of what he loved in increasingly poetic terms:

Taylor graduated from Platte Co. R3 High School in Platte City, Mo in 2009. Taylor grew up in both rural and urban cities. Taylor loved spending summers at his second hometown, Chicago, Ill., working at Park Grill with his dad. Not only was Taylor his mom’s best friend but her entire world. They had a unique and special relationship. He shared his mother’s love for playing pool. He enjoyed learning and playing chess at a young age from both his grandfathers Ray and Felipe. Growing up, skateboarding was a huge part his life. He was also an avid fan of the Chiefs, Royals, and Blues. Above all else, he WAS music. You never saw Taylor without it. If it wasn’t plugged into his ears, or coming out of a speaker, he was playing it. Taylor was a very talented, self-taught drummer, bass and guitar player.

A GoFundMe has been set up in Hawkins’ honor to help his surviving family – particularly his mother.

“Taylor, had a heart of gold, loved his friends, loved music and loved his mother more than anyone,” a friend wrote. “Regardless of his personal struggles, he made it a priority to help and support his mom. She recently had foot surgery and is unable to work.”

Arriving deputies at the time of the murder found a “31-year-old white male who had been shot in the yard of the residence,” the sheriff’s office said in its initial social media press release asking for the public’s help in locating Archambeau and Cervantes.

The two were alleged to be considered “armed and dangerous.”

The defendants apparently fled Missouri and were arrested in “another state” on July 7, 2022, according to Kansas City-area CBS affiliate KCTV. They were subsequently returned to Platte County.

Their indictments allege that the woman pulled the trigger and that she and the man “wiped down a vehicle” that belonged to the victim before stealing a 2012 Ford Focus and then going on the lam.

Cordero T. Cervantes appears in a mugshot

Cordero T. Cervantes.

Details of the alleged murder, however, are presently scarce. Law enforcement has not shared a potential motive in the case. Nor is it currently known whether the two knew Hawkins beforehand.

Archambeau is currently being detained on a $250,000 cash bond; Cervantes is being detained on a $25,000 cash bond.

According to Kansas City FOX affiliate WDAF, Cervantes is currently slated to appear in court in November for a bond reduction hearing. Archambeau, meanwhile, facing substantially more serious charges.

A judge on Friday entered a not guilty plea on Archambeau’s behalf in connection with the murder case. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2022 at 9 a.m.

Platte County, Missouri jail records say Archambeau has been in custody since July 7, 2022.  She was originally booked on the aforementioned charges — plus one additional count of tampering with a motor vehicle.  That second motor vehicle count appears to have been dropped upon indictment, as it does not appear on a state court system website.

According to jail and court records, Archambeau also is charged with one count of possessing marijuana or a synthetic cannabinoid. That case appears to be proceeding on a separate docket.

In January, in nearby Clay County, Missouri, Archambeau was charged with resisting or interfering with an officer, a traffic stop, or an arrest, according to a docket entry on a state court website.

[images via Platte County Prosecutor’s Office]

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