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But before Burns got the chance, Corbin and Rebecca broke up. Corbin told Burns and his family that Rebecca had become pregnant and then had an abortion against his wishes. "Their relationship pretty much went downhill from there," Burns says. They broke up in January 2001.
By then, Corbin was entering into a different kind of partnership. He announced to his family that he was going to buy a liquor store at the corner of Brooklyn and Independence avenues.
Phil had always dreamed of owning his own liquor store. Even so, the choice of partner surprised his friends and family.
"I found it very strange for him to go into business with someone I'd never even heard of," Burns says. "It really mattered to him who he did things with."
His brother was similarly confused by the partnership with Glen Cusimano. "I didn't know where Glen came from," Vince Corbin says. He later found that a friend of the family knew Cusimano's uncle.
Vince explains that it was Corbin who negotiated the purchase of the liquor store. "Phil found the place and knew the guys," Vince says.
But Corbin couldn't come up with his half of the $30,000 purchase price, Vince says, so Cusimano lent him the $6,500 he needed to make up the difference. According to city records, Cusimano got his own share of the money from an insurance settlement from a car he reported stolen.
But those records don't list Corbin's name anywhere. Wells says Corbin and Cusimano feared that their application with the city would be held up because of Corbin's association with his grandfather, Joseph Cammisano. "He was afraid with my maiden name, it would take a long time to get the license," she says.
Corbin and Cusimano instead decided to list Cusimano's hairdresser girlfriend, Courtney Erps, as the owner. She applied for a liquor store license on February 5, 2001, and was approved by the city to open P&G Liquor (short for "Phil and Glen") on March 26.
Between those dates, Corbin made a call to Rebecca.
Broken up just a few weeks, Corbin apparently either carried a strong flame for his former girlfriend or was still smarting over the abortion. Whatever the reason, Corbin had come to believe that he'd been done a great harm by Rebecca, who had started a new relationship with Fritz Ambrozi.
Corbin invited Rebecca to Kansas City for her birthday. He promised to get her a room at the Marriott. But it was to be more than just a quickie for old-time's sake.
Corbin checked into the hotel early and wired it with a hidden camera. Corbin was thrilled when the liquor store opened.
He took the time to know his customers by name. With the store on Independence Avenue, only a few blocks from his mother's house, his friends and family would stop by frequently to hear his latest joke or a detailed retelling of his recent adventures in Kansas City's club scene.
Those stories were getting more dramatic all the time. What had seemed like an eternal party began to sour as Corbin's friends came under increased scrutiny by law enforcement.
"The cops started pulling people over routinely," Danny says.
Danny and the boys had been scoring more than women. They'd been part of an Ecstasy and cocaine distribution network that provided fuel to Kansas City's party scene.