Woman had an or­der of pro­tec­tion in her pocket when her body was found

The Kansas City Star - - News - BY TONY RIZZO trizzo@kc­star.com

Tabitha Bird­song had an or­der of pro­tec­tion folded in her back pocket when she was found dead Tues­day near Roanoke Park in Kansas City.

The man named on the or­der, Gene A. Bird­song, is charged with killing her.

Jack­son County pros­e­cu­tors on Thurs­day charged 42-year-old Gene Bird­song of Kansas City, Kan., with first-de­gree mur­der and armed crim­i­nal ac­tion.

Tabitha Bird­song, 40, was found dead near 36th Street and Madi­son Av­enue.

She had suf­fered “ob­vi­ous head in­juries,” ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, and her death was ruled a homi­cide.

In her pocket, de­tec­tives found a court or­der of pro­tec­tion she had sought against Gene Bird­song.

The two were mar­ried in 2009, ac­cord­ing to John­son County court records, and have a daugh­ter born in 2013.

Fam­ily and friends in­ter­viewed by in­ves­ti­ga­tors af­ter the homi­cide said there was a his­tory of phys­i­cal abuse in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two.

Ac­cord­ing to John­son County court records, Gene Bird­song was con­victed in 2009 and 2010 of do­mes­tic bat­tery against Tabitha Bird­song.

In 2015, she filed a pro­tec­tion or­der re­quest in John­son County in which she said she was “ter­ri­fied” for her safety.

In 2016, Gene Bird­song was charged in John­son County with vi­o­lat­ing a pro­tec­tion or­der Tabitha Bird­song had ob­tained in Wyan­dotte County. He spent 86 days in jail ear­lier this year af­ter vi­o­lat­ing his pro­ba­tion in that case and was re­leased from cus­tody in June.

Ac­cord­ing to the charg­ing doc­u­ments filed in the mur­der case Thurs­day:

Tabitha and Gene were seen to­gether on Mon­day at a home just a few blocks from where the body was found. A wit­ness who spoke with Tabitha Bird­song on Mon­day night could hear Gene Bird­song in the back­ground.

An­other wit­ness told po­lice that Gene Bird­song showed up at the wit­ness’ house Tues­day morn­ing with blood on his pants and a piece of cloth wrapped around his hand.

One per­son de­scribed see­ing Gene Bird­song with “blood-soaked pants.”

Ques­tioned by po­lice, Gene Bird­song made state­ments about some­one try­ing to kill him. He told de­tec­tives it was “self­de­fense,” be­fore stop­ping the in­ter­view by ask­ing for a lawyer.

Gene A. Bird­song

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