The father of a Kansas City man facing scrutiny after his three friends turned up dead in his backyard after an NFL watch party insisted that his son “didn’t do anything wrong” despite theories to the contrary from the victims’ families.
“He would never in a million years do anything,” Rodney Willis told The New York Post on Thursday.
Jordan Willis, his father told the newspaper, was grieving the deaths of Ricky Johnson, 38; Clayton McGeeney, 36; and David Harrington, 37, alongside the families accusing him of playing an active role in their deaths.
“These were all good friends of his, these were all people he went to school with, and he took them to a football game the day before for the Chiefs,” Willis’ dad said Thursday outside his home in Kansas City.
FAMILY OF KANSAS CITY CHIEFS FAN FOUND DEAD OUTSIDE PAL’S HOUSE THINKS HE WAS DRUGGED
McGeeney, Harrington and Willis had been classmates at Park Hill High School, friends told Fox News Digital. According to Willis’ attorney John Picerno, Johnson was friends with one of the other two victims and befriended Willis about four years before they were found dead on January 9.
Now, the Kansas City Police Department is awaiting the results of post-autopsy toxicology reports to inform the investigation.
The three Chiefs fans were last seen alive at Willis’ rental home at Northwest 83rd Terrace to watch the Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers on January 7. A fifth man, who has not been publicly identified, has said that the four men had been awake and watching “Jeopardy” when he left the house around midnight.
Picerno previously told Fox News Digital that his client had seen McGeeney, Johnson and Harrington out of his house before falling asleep on his couch. Friends and family of the deceased fans claimed that they had made repeated attempts to reach Willis on his phone and at his front door that went unanswered in the subsequent two days.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS FANS DEATHS: DRUGS, FREEZING WEATHER COULD HAVE CREATED LETHAL CONDITIONS, EXPERTS SAY
Willis has since moved out of his rental home “in fear of retaliation” after a flurry of media attention about his friends’ deaths, according to Picerno. He has also taken a leave of absence from his job as a data scientist at IAVI, a nonprofit that develops vaccines for infectious diseases.
Since the men were found dead, their families have publicly accused Willis of playing a role in their deaths.
“[David Harrington’s mother] and I are both convinced that Jordan Willis played a part in this somehow,” Jon Harrington told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “There were four of you in the house, and now three of them are dead, and you’re not. That doesn’t add up. I’m thinking that he, the three of them learned something or saw something that they shouldn’t have seen, and he decided ‘Well, I need to get rid of you now.’ Friends or not.”
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“Seriously, these were responsible men. How do they go in a backyard and freeze to death, all three of them?” Norma Chester, Johnson’s mother, told Fox News Digital. “Something that comes to my mind: This guy wants to brag about how smart he is, he’s a scientist. My thoughts are that he concocted something and gave it to all three men. I know I’m just thinking, but how could this have happened?”
“I think that Jordan guy drug[ged] them, because they were picking on him. In a nice way . . . but I think that’s what happened,” Rickie Johnson Sr. told Fox News Digital.
Picerno called accusations of drugging or poisoning “ridiculous.”
“He’s a scientist, and somehow he’s to blame? That’s an opinion not based in fact,” the attorney said.
“There’s no allegation of any animosity between Jordan and his three friends,” Picerno told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “People want to speculate, [but] it’s not like anyone ever called the police saying, ‘We’re afraid of this Jordan guy.'”
Picerno said his client slept for “a lot” of the 48 hours before his friends were found dead, stressing that he worked from home and had no reason to go outside. Although their cars were still parked outside, Picerno said, it wasn’t atypical for them to leave their vehicles at the house.
Willis has two dogs, but Picerno said that the animals were at Willis’ father’s house at the time.
The men’s bodies were discovered after McGeeney’s fiancée, unable to reach Willis, went around the back side of the house and broke in.
There, she found one of the men dead on Willis’ back porch. She called the Kansas City Police Department around 8:51 p.m., and officers found the other two men dead in the backyard.
“I have answered any questions the detectives have had and will continue to do so,” April Mahoney, McGeeney’s fiancée, told Fox News Digital when asked for comment.
Willis answered the door for police in his boxers with a wine glass in his hand. Picerno said the glass was filled with water.
Then, Willis gave police permission to enter his home without a warrant or lawyer present, Picerno said. Ross Nigro, an attorney representing Johnson’s family, told Fox News Digital that a search warrant was carried out on the home two days later.
“He’s a scientist, and somehow he’s to blame? That’s an opinion not based in fact.”
The Kansas City Police Department has stressed that Willis is not suspected of any wrongdoing and is not facing criminal charges.
“First and foremost, this case is 100% not being investigated as a homicide,” Capt. Jake Becchina of the Kansas City Police Department previously told Fox News Digital. “There have not been any arrests [or] charges, and no one is in custody. There are no specific threats or concerns for the surrounding community at this time. The resident at the house was cooperative with detectives the day the deceased were discovered.”
Dr. Micheal Baden told Fox News Digital on Thursday that he believed the three men overdosed on fentanyl or another drug that causes disorientation.
“It would be the type of drug that causes a person to be disoriented,” Baden said, ruling out carbon monoxide, because the men’s bodies were found outside. “Fentanyl-type drugs can cause disorientation and can cause a rapid sleep-like loss of consciousness.
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“If these four people all took it together, the guy on the couch sleeps it off for a long time, whereas the three who went outside disoriented, maybe didn’t have on their coats. Because of the freezing weather, it [could be] a combination of the drugs and hypothermia that caused their death.”
Source: Fox News