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Archive for Thursday, June 13, 1996

SUSPECTS BOUND OVER FOR DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

June 13, 1996

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At least two bullets struck a vehicle with six people inside during a drive-by shooting last month.

Three men charged in a May 28 drive-by shooting were bound over for trial after a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

"This clearly was a gang-related shooting that started in Topeka," said Douglas County Assistant Dist. Atty. Jerry Little. "They knew why they were coming. They intended to get into a gang shooting when they were in Lawrence."

Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone found probable cause to bind over for trial Marcus F. Knight, 20, Topeka, William Burton Jr., 20, 1125 Kasold, and Alonzo Jerome Boyd, 20, Topeka.

They are charged in a car chase that began near Sunset School at Ninth Street and Schwarz Road and ended with shots fired in the 300 block of Cattleman Trail. No one was injured in the incident.

Knight will stand trial on six counts of attempted first-degree murder. He allegedly fired shots from a small-caliber handgun at six occupants of another vehicle that pulled into a driveway on Cattleman Trail.

Boyd was bound over on six counts of aiding and abetting attempted first-degree murder and on a count of possession of stolen property. Authorities allege the suspects were in a 1992 Escort that had been stolen from a Topeka couple.

Witnesses at Wednesday's hearing said Boyd was driving the suspects' car.

Malone did not find probable cause to bind Burton over on his original charge of six counts of aiding and abetting attempted first-degree murder but did bind him over on a charge of aiding a felon.

After the shooting, Burton allegedly tried to hide the gun used in the crime in a gutter in the 1600 block of Haskell, witnesses said.

During Wednesday's hearing, a 17-year-old Lawrence boy who was driving the victims' car said one of the bullets apparently passed through a side window and struck the inside windshield of the car.

The boy, a self-described member of the "Rollin' 60s" gang who had been kicked out of school after being caught with a handgun, said he drove to the residence on Cattleman Trail for protection.

"I'm always being chased by 'School Yard Crips' and (people at the residence) told me that if I ever got chased to go there and they would do something about it," the boy said.

Testimony was unclear as to which gang the suspects were members of. Some witnesses said they are members of the School Yard Crips but Richard Eugene Courville, 19, Topeka, who was in the suspects' car, said they are members of a Topeka gang, "Folks."

Courville was arrested in the incident but not formally charged.

The suspects' car stopped on the street and Knight, sitting in the passenger's seat, allegedly fired at the victims' car, according to testimony.

Lawrence police officer Damon Thomas testified that he found five .22-caliber shell casings and two bullet fragments at the scene. Two bullets were found in the victims' vehicle, Thomas said.

Witnesses said there were no gang symbols flashed before or during the incident.

But Lawrence police Det. Catherine Kelley said Burton told her during an interview that members of the victims' car were flashing gang signs at members of the suspects' car in the early stages of the car chase.

Other detectives testified that the suspects told them they came to Lawrence with a gun to "clear up something" with another gang member here. It wasn't clear which gang that person belonged to.

No testimony was offered to indicate any of the suspects had targeted the victims before encountering them at the school.

David Brown, Knight's attorney, argued that there was not sufficient evidence to bind the men over for trial.

"I do not believe the state has proved any more than one count of a drive-by shooting," he said.

Knight and Boyd remain in the Douglas County Jail on $150,000 bond each. Burton's bond was reduced from $150,000 to $7,500. He also remained in jail.

An arraignment was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday, when a trial date will be set or pleas can be made.

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