Two Lawrence men were ordered Monday to stand trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder in connection with gunfire Jan. 4 outside a residence in the 1100 block of New Jersey.
Yusaf Ali Austin, 20, 1608 E. 15th, and Marvin L. "Feli" Jefferson, 19, 703 W. 25th, were bound over for separate trials after a witness testified that they each fired handguns at a Topeka man while the man was trying to run away. Both men pleaded not guilty.
Austin was ordered to stand trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Jefferson was ordered to stand trial on a charge of attempted first-degree murder.
THE ALLEGED victim, Shapiro Doss, Topeka, testified during a preliminary hearing Monday that Austin pointed a gun to his head and said, ``Say something smart'' outside the residence after an altercation about 10 p.m. Jan. 4.
Doss said he pushed Austin away, then heard gunshots in his direction as he was fleeing the house.
A witness, Michael Freeland, 21, Topeka, said he was standing on the porch of the residence when he saw Austin and Jefferson each firing handguns in Doss' direction as Doss ran away. Doss was not injured in the incident.
Douglas County District Judge James Paddock set Austin's trial for 9 a.m., April 7. Jefferson's trial was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., March 3. Pre-trial motions for Jefferson will be heard at 3 p.m., Feb. 22.
Austin's attorney, Kay Huff of Lawrence, requested a separate trial for her defendant.
Doss said he and Freeland had driven to Lawrence on Jan. 4 from Topeka with two other people and went to the residence to visit friends.
Doss said Austin, Jefferson and another man arrived at the residence about five minutes later and began arguing with him.
AFTER THEY left the house, Doss testified, he walked out of the residence and into the front yard, where Austin pointed a gun to the back of his head.
"Ali came up behind me and pointed the gun at my head and said `Say something smart,'" Doss said.
Doss said he then pushed Austin away and fled from the residence.
He said he did not know how many shots were fired in his direction while he was running.
Bullets, he said, "were flying at different speeds" and "you could just hear it."
Freeland said that when he left the apartment a few moments after Doss, he saw Austin and Jefferson each firing handguns in Doss' direction.
Freeland said the two men fired shots "until their guns were empty."
"I heard the unloaded guns still trying to be fired," he said.
According to testimony, police arrived at the residence a short time after the shots were fired and interviewed Freeland. He and police later located Doss, who had fled to a convenience store.
Police said they believe the shooting was gang-related.
Doss said he knew both suspects but had not had any disputes with them in the past. Freeland said he did not know the suspects.
Austin is being held in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of $45,000 bond. Jefferson is being held in lieu of $35,000 bond.