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Archive for Friday, November 8, 2002

Warrant named suspect before shooting

Arrest had been sought for previous gun violence

November 8, 2002

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He should have been in jail.

Antonio Floyd, 19, the man accused of shooting an East Lawrence woman in the head because he thought she would testify against him in a drug trial, already was wanted for earlier gun violence against another woman.

And he had been in federal and local police custody twice on separate charges in the two months before the shooting, but was released without bail.

"I don't think it was fair that he could come out and do something like this," said Lorenzo Brockman, 28, a brother of the Lawrence woman on the mend at an undisclosed Kansas City hospital.

"She's doing bad," Brockman said of his sister after Floyd's alleged Nov. 5 attack, "but she's getting better slowly but surely."

A Journal-World review of police and court records shows Floyd had repeated brushes with the law that would indicate dangerous tendencies.

But officials in separate jurisdictions apparently never were able to piece together a chronology of all Floyd's activities the past year in a meaningful enough way to keep him behind bars.

Previous accusations



Court records show that a former girlfriend accused Floyd of trying to run over her with his car on Feb. 10. On July 11, police were called after Floyd allegedly fired several shots into another girlfriend's car while it was parked outside her apartment in the 1700 block of West 24th Street.

At the time, neither incident resulted in warrants being issued for Floyd's arrest.

More recently, Floyd was charged Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court on one count of possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell. He was released two days later on his own recognizance and without posting bond.

Because the earlier incidents had not produced warrants for Floyd's arrest, the federal court was unaware of concerns that Floyd might be considered armed and dangerous.

Jail records show he was arrested Oct. 1 in Lawrence on a charge of failing to appear for a hearing on an unspecified complaint filed in Lawrence Municipal Court. He was released within a few hours.

Three weeks later, charges stemming from the July car-shooting incident were filed in Douglas County District Court and a warrant was issued for Floyd's arrest.

The warrant reached the Douglas County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 31.

Floyd roamed the streets until his arrest Tuesday near 24th Street and Ousdahl Road, minutes after he allegedly shot the 31-year-old East Lawrence woman three times " once in the back of the head, once in the throat, once in the chest.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld, told authorities Floyd had contacted her Oct. 30 " the day before a Douglas County warrant for his arrest reached the Sheriff's Office " and said it appeared he would have to "do federal time" on the drug charges. During the conversation, the victim said Floyd asked her to "testify falsely on his behalf."

Sexual assault, shooting

Six days later, Floyd allegedly entered the victim's home on Haskell Avenue, sexually assaulted and then shot her, leaving her for dead.

He was charged Tuesday in Douglas County District Court with first-degree murder, sexual battery and criminal possession of a firearm. Also Tuesday, federal prosecutors filed a motion asking that Floyd's recognizance bond be revoked.

It's unclear why a warrant for Floyd's arrest wasn't issued for more than three months after the car-shooting incident.

The Lawrence Police Department did not return Journal-World telephone calls seeking comment Thursday.

Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Douglas County Sheriff Rick Trapp said his office added "50, 60, 70 warrants a week" to the 3,000 unserved warrants already on file.

"I'm not going to speculate on what happened," Trapp said. "But I will say that all of us in law enforcement are working as hard as we can with the resources available to us.

"And right now, the system is overloaded. I could keep five or six people busy processing warrants. I've only got two."

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