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Archive for Friday, September 26, 1997

VERDICT ANGERS SUSPECT

September 26, 1997

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A 21-year-old Lawrence man had to be subdued by six law enforcement officers Thursday after jurors handed down a guilty verdict in his trial on rape charges.

Jurors scrambled and District Judge Paula B. Martin quickly left the courtroom when Tyrone Edwards jumped up, knocking his chair over, and overturned the defense table at which he was seated.

Assistant Dist. Atty. John Wilcox, who was at the prosecutor's table, said five or six Lawrence Police officers and Douglas County Sheriff's deputies quickly grabbed Edwards. Wilcox said the authorities had to take Edwards to the ground to subdue him.

The outburst came just as the jury foreman read the guilty verdict to Edwards, who was accused of having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl. Under Kansas law, sex with anyone under 14 years old is considered statutory rape.

"He said, 'I can't believe this,'" Wilcox said. "When he was down, he repeatedly said, 'I love you mother,' or something like that."

Edwards' attorney, Jim Rumsey, declined to comment about the incident.

Martin didn't hold Edwards in contempt, and Wilcox said charges had not been filed by Thursday afternoon for the outburst. Martin wasn't available for comment.

Edwards, who was charged in May, faces a sentence of 15 1/3 years to 68 years. He could be released earlier on parole. Edwards faces sentencing on Oct. 30.

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