Archive for Friday, May 19, 2006

Shooting victim’s widow files suit

Wife says Granada could have done more to prevent violence

May 19, 2006


The staff of a downtown nightclub failed to do enough to prevent a deadly shooting earlier this year outside the club, a lawsuit filed by the shooting victim's widow alleges.

LaTonia Coleman, widow of Robert Earl Williams, filed suit late Wednesday in Douglas County District Court against the ownership company of the Granada, 1020 Mass.

Williams, 46, was shot and killed and another man was injured early Feb. 5 when a crowd gathered outside the club after a hip-hop concert- a situation Coleman alleges the club knew was likely to erupt in violence.

"From the facts I've got, the Granada did have security people at the doors that were patting people down as they came in. They apparently expected people to carry weapons in," said James Wisler, an attorney representing Coleman. "As I understand, the security was pretty lax, and people were coming and going and the searches were not very thorough.

"Given the nature of the event : the hip-hop reputation is one that would lead them to believe they would need more security."

The couple's 7-year-old son, Robert, also is listed as a plaintiff.

Mike Logan, the Granada's owner, did not return telephone calls Thursday. In an interview days after the shooting, he said there were no major problems during the concert itself, which featured artists from Denver-based Upset Records.

"They were shot 75 feet from our doorstep a half-hour after we closed, and obviously we don't staff the sidewalk," he said at the time. "We had no reason to think that anything would happen on the street, but unfortunately it happened well after we were closed."

A Topeka man, Rashawn T. Anderson, is charged with murder in Williams' death and is being held in the Douglas County Jail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12.

Coleman has said that she believes the shooting happened after Anderson interjected himself in an argument between Williams and an acquaintance. The argument died down, and minutes later Williams was shot as he was trying to make arrangements to follow the hip-hop artists' limousine to Kansas City for an afterparty, she said.

Wisler pointed to a statement issued by Upset Records after the incident that blamed the shooting on a "lack of security." The record label alleged the Granada was supposed to have provided a police officer to escort artists out of the show and watch the door as people left. But Logan has called that claim a "ridiculous" fabrication.

The lawsuit does not state an exact amount of the damages Coleman is seeking. It says she's seeking more than $75,000 each for:

¢ Williams' suffering before his death.

¢ Coleman's damages, including mental anguish, loss of her husband and loss of his earnings.

¢ Damages to the younger Robert Williams for the loss of his father.


Mike Birch 12 years, 1 month ago

Although I seriously doubt that any jury composed of

level-headed people would even consider ruling in favor

of a wrongful death lawsuit against the Granada, I

propose that the City of Lawrence ban any future

rap/hip-hop concerts. If you want to initiate a means of

discouraging the bad elements of Topeka and Kansas

City from coming to Lawrence, this is an excellent start!


Kelly Powell 12 years, 1 month ago

That's just not going to happen....I agree that you get a bunch of idiots that go to these shows(no offense to the non idiots who attend), but if you ban them what will happen if an incident happens at another type of venue? I could guarantee somebody wiould try to ban that venue from town. I am sorry for what happened to this ladies husband.....but I do not see how the granada is responsible for her husbands death.

Mike Birch 12 years, 1 month ago

I believe that it is time for the City of Lawrence to give the Last Call its last call!


xenophonschild 12 years, 1 month ago

Rap is not music; it is nihilistic drivel for angry 12-year-olds. It should be banned, and actively repressed.

Katie Van Blaricum 12 years, 1 month ago

I didn't think the shooter was ever inside the Granada. If he wasn't, then the Granada has nothing to do with it. It doesnt sound like any guns were allowed into the Granada. They were only allowed on the street, and as of today, that is legal!! Is the Granada responsible for policing the street after they close? I'm sorry for the loss of this man, but the Granada shouldn't have to pay for it. Try filing a civil lawsuit against the shooter.

getserious 12 years, 1 month ago

Say the Granada books a white supremicist band. They spew their vile and have a following of idiots who come to the show. After the show, the crowd tangles with some protestors out in the street. Should the Granada be held liable then? If you have a band like that, you are asking for trouble and I bet the city would do anything to keep a band like that from coming. Why should rap(rhymes with crap) be any different? Rap and hip hop are ruining downtown. STOP IT NOW.

JimmyJoeBob 12 years, 1 month ago

What a low-life, ambulance chasing, frivolous litigator, Wisler must be.

bmwjhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

So many of society's more recent problems can be blamed on baseless litigation. It's the lone cause of political correctness. And, it's annoying.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years, 1 month ago

Marion, er, "Plumberscrack", I get the idea you are getting at in your post about bars being responsible for drunk patrons getting in their car, leaving, and then wrecking. However, this is different. The Granada did not serve the hip-hop crowd their bad attitudes, tendency towards violence, etc. They brought that on their own. The Granada was closed for a half-hour before this happened. It would be a real shame (and a horrible precedent) if a civil trial in Lawrence were to grant this woman victory.

aquakej: The reason the woman doesn't file a lawsuit against the shooter is the same reason people don't file lawsuits against the suspect in a police chase that ends in a wreck. The shooter doesn't have any money, just as the fleeing felon doesn't have any. But the Granada sure does, just as the police departments and their officers would. It's all about the money, not actual guilt.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations to James Wisler. You are now officially an opportunistic ambulance chaser! No better than a mobster extorting money for "protection", you harrass a small business owner for something that happened ACROSS THE STREET from his business. If your mother was proud of you the day you graduated from law school, she isn't any longer. You spent all those years in college just to do THIS with your life? How unfulfilling this must be for you... except, of course, for the fun you will have spending the extortion money. What some people call "success" baffles me.

Get Serious: Did you just say 'Skinhead Culture = Hip-Hop Culture'? As disgusted as I am by hip-hop, it's NOT the same thing. You overstepped logic on that one. Skinheads exist FOR THE PURPOSE of promoting extreme violence, HH is a culture that is many-faceted, with one facet being aggressive/violent. It often lauds gangsta values, but not exclusively or exhaustively, as Skinhead culture does. If your kid busted his head open trying to run through a brick wall, would you blame Mr. Cool Aid?

kujeeper 12 years, 1 month ago

Someone needs to break Marion's keyboard in half. The term ''redline'' is not a term, definition, or method employed by the insurance industry. Lawrence and Douglas County is not even close to having the rates of Shawnee, Wyandotte, and Segewick counties. If it does go up. You can't just blame one or two establishments on that. (Granted Last Call and the Granada have patrons that cause a lot of trouble) You also have to blame the crazed husbands who are killing their wives due to jealousy and sexual perversions. Or the kids with no parents nor common sense who burn down million dollar structures with people sleeping in them.

This lawsuit is typical of the times. Maybe the plantiff should ask why her husband is at a hip-hop show with a bunch of trouble making youths and then trying to go to KC at three in the morning to party more. Shouldn't he be responsible and be at home with his wife and child? But I guess it's not his fault for getting in the middle of someone's arguement.... I forget that the minorities can blame everyone else since is our fault that they can't seem to help themselves. I hope the judge laughs at her and tosses her out of the courtroom.

hipper_than_hip 12 years, 1 month ago

Is it true that downtown is a gun-free zone?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

The Granada provided the music that night, not the guns. The "if a drunk leaves a bar and kills someone" example applies because there is a DIRECT link between excessive drinking and death. This guy died across the street from the club because he decided to get into a verbal altercation, and the other bone-head pulled out a gun. If the Granada had been promoting a "Let's Argue While Armed" theme that night, then I'd be all for the lawsuit. But this is about two guys who lacked the self-control to leave each other alone, and one died. This is NOT about the Granada.

A week or so ago a guy was stabbed mulitple times half a block away from the Granada. He had no connection to any bars or music that night. He simply got lippy with a guy who would kill you if you looked at him the wrong way. Same deal, no rap, no Granada.

To the widow: I'm sorry for your loss, but your husband died because he didn't walk away from a situation that was 100% avoidable, and beause another man had murder in his heart.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

I feel sorry for this widow. She's obviously surrounded by people who are enabling her denial about what really happened.

Marion said "popped a cap". Is it just me, or are we getting way too familiar with crime in our society?

"The bubble-headed bleach-blond comes on at five.

She will tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye.

It's interesting when people die."

kualum03 12 years, 1 month ago

I have to smile when I read people blaming rap for causing this tragedy. Seriously. Open your eyes and understand that it is a person with a gun making a choice. Rap didn't make them do it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

Furthermore, when Cosby goes on one of his tirades on the subject, it seems that the "real news" is that Cosby is "losing it". It doesn't even compute in our heads that criminal behavior is ABNORMAL. So, when Cosby calls us on the carpet, we think HE is the anomoly.

Confrontation 12 years, 1 month ago

kualum03: Don't try to reason with people on this board. You graduated in '03, which makes you young enough to understand the appeal of rap music. Most of the people posting here are way too old to have listened to rap while in high school or college. They see rap as a threat because it's moving young white people away from the god-awful and boring music (aka: country music). Rap is turning white girls on to black guys, which is a tragedy to most of the racist people around town and across the nation. White guys are getting nervous and jealous. I've been listening to rap since 6th grade, and I've yet to kill, rape, or commit any other crime. I graduated the top of my class in high school and college. I don't carry a gun. I don't refer to women as ho's and men as playa's. I understand that I don't have to act out after I've listened to a song. There are idiots listening to every type of music. Those idiots are the ones who can't control themselves. Those who don't believe rap is real music, obviously don't understand the roots of the music. Mostly, those claiming this are white people who can't dance, have not rhythm, and those who fear minorities becoming too strong. They can claim otherwise, which I'm sure they will as soon as this posts, but the basis of their argument is racism. Now, watch them deny it.

Sigmund 12 years, 1 month ago

Plumbercrack wrote "The courts HAVE found where businesses can be found responsible for safety of customers enroute home! Ever heard of a bar feeding too many drinks to a person and that person goes home drunk causing a wreck and the bartender/bar gets sued and loses?"

Actually no, at least not in Kansas. Although the law may have changed, can you pull up your trowsers for a moment and point to a Kansas case where this has happened?

Dram shop liability laws hold alcohol servers responsible for harm that intoxicated or underage patrons cause to other people (or, in some cases, to themselves). These laws are established at the state level through common law, legislation, or both. As far as I know eight states do not have dram shop laws: Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia.

Here is a link to a recent KS Supreme's case that originated out of Douglas County. You may remember the details:

"At common law, and apart from statute, no redress exists against persons selling, giving or furnishing intoxicating liquor for resulting injuries or damages due to the acts of intoxicated persons, either on the theory that the dispensing of the liquor constituted a direct wrong or that it constituted actionable negligence. Since Kansas does not have a dram shop act, the common-law rule prevails in Kansas. Stringer v. Calmes, 167 Kan. 278, 205 P.2d 921 (1949)."

gphawk89 12 years, 1 month ago

Just about anyone can be found liable for just about anything as long as you have a clueless jury and the prosecuting attorney plays the emotion card. I'm not sure it matters all that much what the law says or doesn't say.

Has anyone considered who's really to blame here (Mr. Anderson, the shooter)? But of course being a worthless criminal he probably doesn't have deep pockets so there's no use trying to sue him.

gphawk89 12 years, 1 month ago

Wait, isn't the Granada a movie theater? Why would there be rap... oh, boy, I'm starting to show my age.

Sigmund 12 years, 1 month ago

gphawk89, actually in the case I cited the case never even got to the jury. Judge Murphy wouldn't let it go to trial because the law clearly doesn't allow compensation. Further, there is no "prosecuting attorney" involved in a civil case. Had you even clicked the link and read the first paragraph, you would have known that.

"1. Upon appellate review of a district court's order granting a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim ..."

This is the courts way of saying "You're quite wrong and we simply can't be bothered."

Centrist 12 years, 1 month ago

I suggest the "Granasty" clean itself up anyway ... it's getting a reputation!

How about some friggin ROCK BANDS in this town for a change?!?! I mean REAL ones ... no one EVER got shot at any gig I've been to over many years ..

Screw the "hiphop" culture. It sucks, it's loaded with no-talents and is crass at best. I'm so sick of it being shoved down my throat everywhere I turn. It's NOT the "norm", it's not the "way it is now", and it's certainly not "progressive" !! More like REGRESSIVE as we descend back into the Wild West days ..

Long live rock 'n' roll!!!!!!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

"How about some friggin ROCK BANDS in this town for a change?!?!"

When I was a kid in Wichita, there was an outdoor rock concert at a park. One thing led to another, and a riot broke out. The cops showed up, the crowd turned over the cop cars and lit them on fire. Now, there are no more outdoor concerts in Wichita.

"hiphop... is loaded with no-talents and is crass at best"

Really? Remember "Rat" "Goar"? This site limits us to 3000 characters per post, so I cannot begin to list all the "no-talent, crass" rock acts that have been around. Yes, I also doubt that there are many in hip-hop who have any real talent, but you are reaching if you use rock and roll as an example of a talent-filled, non-violent musical culture.

hipper_than_hip 12 years, 1 month ago

(3) The bar patron LEFT the Granada, got a gun, came back to the area ACROSS the street (Actually, right in front of MY old office!) and popped a cap on the deceased.

Marion: where did you hear/read this?

gphawk89 12 years, 1 month ago

Sigmund- I didn't even read your post or click the link therein. I was just giving my opinion - let me rephrase it: "Just about anyone can be found liable for just about anything as long as you have a clueless jury and the emotion card is played."

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

Can my wife sue whatever business that I am in front of if I put myself in a dangerous situation and run my mouth off? Anderson might have gotten into a discussion that wasn't his business but Williams probably ran off with his mouth and then Anderson shot him. I don't see where Granada should be involved. The people involved made their decisions, Granada didn't make anybody shoot another person.

gphawk89 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure the Granada has some kind of liability insurance (if they don't, they're awfully shortsighted). The insurance company will cover the damages (unless they are way excessive), just as it does in thousands of other medical maplractice, wrongful death, and otherwise ouchy-i-stubbed-my-toe-while-on-your-property cases in the U.S. every year. And our insurance rates continue to rise...

Sigmund 12 years, 1 month ago

gphawk89, Insurance companies don't get big and profitable by paying on claims where their insured is clearly not liable. I doubt seriously they will settle this claim unless the case gets assigned to Judge Martin, then all bets are off.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years, 1 month ago

my question is why has she waited so long? If she thought the club was at fault to start with why so long?

hipper_than_hip 12 years, 1 month ago


I read that article twice, but I didn't see any mention that the guy left the bar to get a gun, then returned to shoot Williams. Is that the right link? I'm curious as to whether Anderson had the gun on his person inside the Granada, or was the gun in his car while he was in the bar?

Steve Jacob 12 years, 1 month ago

I feel for the family, because maybe the main bread winner is gone, so I can see trying to get money. But the Granada is going to win, so I would rather see a few thousand go to the family then the lawyers.

armyguy 12 years, 1 month ago

Charles Manson was a big Beach Boys fan, to the point of stalking.

Ban Beach boys muic

JimmyJoeBob 12 years, 1 month ago

I think this attorney should take a look at the songs that were preformed that night. Surely these lyrics were the reason this man was shot dead.

Or could it be the company that manufactured the gun and bullets.

Or the liquor industry for producing alcohol which more than likely put both men in a drunken state

Or ............insert excuse here

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 1 month ago

"the main bread winner is gone, so I can see trying to get money"

Really? Is "lack of money" an appropriate reason to file a lawsuit? I'd like more money than I have. I have $3800 in hail damage on my car. Should I sue the NWS for failing to predict the exact time and location of the hail just because I need some money?

Suing someone only because you need/want money is unethical. It's on par with overt fraud. A person should sue only because they were actually wronged/hurt in some way. Being poor is not a reason to bring a lawsuit.

Again, I'll say: I think this grieving widow is being twisted by an ambulance-chasing attorney. She's probablly not an educated, sophisticated woman, she's vulnerable to bad advice, and she's being led. Get a conscience dude: leave her alone. If she's hurting now, how do you think she's going to feel when she realizes that her "compassionate" attorney only cared for himself?

daddax98 12 years, 1 month ago

There are lots of dead rappers...

so what you are saying is that rap causes aids, cancer and heart attacks?

It is more dangerous then I thought!

KSChick1 12 years, 1 month ago

She can always apply for Social Security Survivor's benefits for the son if the supposed dad is listed on the birth certificate. She can also have the same benefits as a spouse if they were legally married. Those benefits are based on lifetime earnings of the deceased, not the earnings or nonearnings at time of death. Plus social security kicks in more funds so these benefits are not even completely based on earnings.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years, 1 month ago

not the music it is the choices people make and all the choices made that night were bad ones but not the clubs fault

Confrontation 12 years, 1 month ago

It cracks me up that someone actually thinks that Kid Rock and the Beastie Boys are really performing rap songs!!! They are just as "rap" as Kenny Rogers is "heavy metal." But, KR and BB are still better than anything country.

GardenMomma 12 years, 1 month ago

"Olin and Lawrence Police Capt. Dave Cobb said the incident began after the Upset Records show at the Granada, when two dozen people gathered on the street to wait for performers and the announcement of an after-hours party.

A half-dozen people soon started fighting.

"Several individuals were armed with guns," Olin said.

"Guns came out. Shots were fired. Everybody runs," Cobb said.

Williams was across the street when he was hit. The 22-year-old man escaped down the alley and into the back of the Granada before receiving aid." See:

So, everyone involved was OUTSIDE the Granada that night. The deceased was ACROSS the street; the other victim ran BACK to the Granada.

I don't see how the Granada is at all responsible for the actions of people outside their establishment. Unless you consider the fact that drinking establishments are responsible for the actions of people affected by the products (alcohol) provided by the establishment. In this case, one could argue that the participants (shooter and victims) were under the influence of the atmosphere in the club and thus were incited to violence. But that's probably taking it a stretch.

spym00se 12 years, 1 month ago

"ONCE AGAIN, THE EMBARRASSMENT...will be playing a reunion show at Lawrence's own LIBERTY HALL on SUNDAY, AUGUST 20th, 2006. Tickets will be available online and through the Liberty Hall box office; ticket on-sale date will soon be announced.

Opening for The Embarrassment will be Lawrence's KILL CREEK.

Stayed tuned for further announcements.

Nikki May 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree the beastie boys are mostly rap, they are one of my faves and all. Anyway, I do need to point out that skinhead and white supremacy are NOT the same. NOT NOT NOT. Most skinheads are anti-racists, and if you shave your head and wear suspenders (braces) you don't have to be white power. Like I said, most aren't. Look into it. Labels of all types suck. People coming on here saying rap caused this are labeling rap fans as violent, which is NOT 100% true. People need to stop generalizing.

Shane Garrett 12 years, 1 month ago

Hey Elizabeth Montgomery's face is now a place. Don't go there. I may become mental.

Besides, we all know that if "they" weren't all just really broke, then gold digin' fly white girls won't be given free pokes. Rap anit about tunes it is about a tude. So if you got splayed and lost, then you lost for thinking you got played.

Still thinking about Elizabeth Montgomery's Fa-ACE.

yellowhouse 12 years, 1 month ago

How sad to have lost a loved one in such a violent way! The trauma and loss can be overwhelming so where do you turn?


Hush God is speaking, His words whispered in the midst of the storm In the shadows of death and sorrow A vail of assurance shall form

Although we accept it Deaths ramifications shall impact us unaware A soft voice is calling out, from the depths of despair!

Jesus is that voice, He knew great sorrow when Lazarus died, Its one of the few times ever documented, That even Jesus cried.

Where do you turn, when your world falls apart? Whose voice do you listen to from within a broken heart?

How shall we find courage when reality is setting in? Because of the Lords resurrection We SHALL see our loved ones again!

Life is but a veil, that soon will be lifted High Then we shall see forever, in that sweet by and by!

For within Jesus is not speculation Only certainty Reality that our risen Lord Has opened the door to eternity!

That life is our abundantly on this journey in life we share, Giving us his grace and his love beyond compare!

By Carrie Neighbors.

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