Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Murder charge filed in downtown killing

18-year-old Topekan may face additional felony counts

February 24, 2006


Prosecutors on Thursday filed a first-degree murder charge against a Topeka man accused of shooting and killing another man outside a Lawrence nightclub after a hip-hop show.

Douglas County Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office filed one charge of premeditated first-degree murder against Rashawn T. Anderson, 18, and said more charges could be coming. The Feb. 5 shooting outside the Granada, 1020 Mass., killed 46-year-old Robert E. Williams and injured a 22-year-old man.

Williams' widow, LaTonia Coleman, on Thursday expressed gratitude to police for their work on the case.

"The detectives, they've done a wonderful job," she said. "I just greatly appreciate it. : I went and bought balloons for the detectives and a card."

So far, Anderson is charged only with murder, and prosecutors would not say Thursday whether he is suspected of shooting the person who was injured.

"There's potential for another serious felony charge," Assistant Dist. Atty. Brenda Clary told District Court Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel.

Clary requested that Anderson's bond be doubled to $1 million, but Kittel kept it at $500,000.

Olin said investigators were led to Anderson last week but there wasn't enough evidence to arrest him until Wednesday. Police set up surveillance in Topeka and arrested Anderson after a traffic stop.

Olin said police came into contact with gang members during the investigation, but that he didn't know whether Anderson was a gang member. And he said the shooting itself was not gang-related.

In the days after the shooting, Coleman told the Journal-World a stranger had shot her husband after the stranger interjected himself in a family dispute about money that began inside the club and continued outside the club.

Olin said Coleman's version "would fit roughly within what we believe occurred."

He said police were certain that Williams was the intended target, but that police were still investigating other details of what happened outside the club, including the exact chronology of events and the motive.

"This is not over," he said.

Olin said police followed more than 200 leads, and that nearly a dozen agencies in Missouri, Colorado and Kansas helped with the investigation. He said the Topeka Police Department was "very helpful" in identifying witnesses to the shooting and conducting surveillance.

Anderson is due to appear in court Thursday to schedule a preliminary hearing.

- 6News reporter Deanna Richards contributed information to this article.


Richard Heckler 12 years, 4 months ago

Good work. Hope the LPD has its' ducks in a row. Ms. Coleman start exercising your memory cells and keep your story straight.

Again good job.

topflight 12 years, 4 months ago

I am so sick and tired of these dumb s--- judges setting bonds low. This guy just killed someone but the judge does not feel a million dollar bond is justified. You ahve got to be kidding. She needs to be voted out.

Dean Manwaring 12 years, 4 months ago

Topflight- Apparently you don't know anything about the judicial system here in Douglas County. This particualr judge was not voted into office and therefore can not be voted out. She is appointed each year by the chief judge in this county. She isn't a regular district court judge, she is a pro tem judge. She has limited duties and power as compared to a regular district court judge. Her case load is just as demanding as the other judges, if not more, yet the county only allows her to work 4 days a week instead of 5, at a much lower salary than the other judges. I have worked extremely close with this particular judge, as well as the other judges, in Douglas County, and I can honestly say that I think they do a wonderful job. There is no way they, or anyone else can make everyone happy, but I can assure you that they take everything into careful consideration before they make a ruling.

cutny 12 years, 4 months ago

Gee, I wish I had topflight's bank account.

Apparently he/she thinks coming up with a half-mill, or the 10% bond of $50,000 isn't going to be a problem for Mr. Anderson. Personally, I'm guessing it's going to be. Unless someone in his family owns a home or business they are willing to leverage in order to come up with the cash, I don't think anyone needs to worry about Mr. Anderson hanging out in front of the Granada anytime soon.

monkeywrench1969 12 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about Topeka but have you seen how property values of house have sky rocketed. It might not be that difficult to raise fifty thousand dollars with equity in a house.

dozer 12 years, 4 months ago

A bond of $500,000 for first degree murder is consistent with other judges in the State. Kittel is an excellent judge and we are lucky to have her in Douglas County.

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