KC woman accused of killing husband for insurance

Sunday, June 16, 2002

PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- A woman whose parents were already charged with killing her husband has been accused of plotting the homicide with them and trying to collect on a forged life insurance policy.

A Platte County grand jury on Friday indicted Chrysta Mize, 28, on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

Mize is accused of acting with her parents -- Jimmy and Brenda Williams -- in forging a life insurance policy of about $155,000 on Thadd Mize and trying to collect on it after his December shooting death.

The indictment Friday was the first time that Chrysta Mize had been linked publicly to the death of her ex-husband.

"She tried to collect many times," said Platte County Prosecutor Tammy Glick.

Glick said that Thadd Mize's signature had been forged on the insurance papers, and that he had learned about the phony policy when the premiums were forwarded to his apartment after their divorce. He had mailed a notice canceling it the day he was killed.

Chrysta Mize was in the Platte County Jail on Friday night. Bond was $100,000, cash-only. She was arrested at the Platte County Courthouse on Friday after the grand jury hearing.

Grand jurors also increased Brenda Williams' charges from second-degree murder to first-degree murder and armed criminal action for her alleged role in the conspiracy. Jimmy Williams' charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action remained unchanged. Jimmy and Brenda Williams are in the county jail, each on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

The Williamses have pleaded innocent. Chrysta Mize has not been arraigned.

Bankruptcy filings

Glick said the life insurance policy was taken out in May 2001, the month after Thadd and Chrysta Mize separated and Thadd Mize had moved out of their home in Kansas City, north of the Missouri River.

About the same time, the Williamses also filed for bankruptcy, and a mortgage company began foreclosing on their Kansas City home. Thadd and Chrysta Mize also had filed separately for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Thadd Mize's parents, Pat and Dave Mize, of Wichita, Kan., are seeking custody of their grandsons in Kansas courts. The boys -- ages 9 and 4 -- were with Chrysta Mize's grandparents in Oklahoma on Friday, Pat Mize said. The Mizes said they had not seen the boys since before their father's death.

Thadd Mize was found shot to death Dec. 12 in his car on a street in Kansas City, north of the Missouri River.

That evening, he dropped his sons at a Wal-Mart parking lot as ordered in his divorce from Chrysta Mize. According to police, after the exchange, Thadd Mize told his girlfriend in a cell phone call that his ex-wife's parents were following him in a van.

Mize's girlfriend told investigators she then heard loud popping sounds. Mize then said that Jimmy Williams had shot him.

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