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Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Videos to play role in Granada shooting trial

Prosecutors say eyewitness will testify

April 17, 2007

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Prosecutors will rely heavily on video of arguments and altercations taken minutes before a shooting that killed one man and injured another on Feb. 5, 2006, outside the Granada, 1020 Mass.

Both sides made opening statements this morning in the trial of accused shooter Rashawn T. Anderson, 20, of Topeka. Prosecutors say Anderson shot and killed Robert Earl Williams, 46, also of Topeka, and injuring Pierre Burnette, of Kansas City, Kan.

Assistant Douglas County District Attorney Trent Krug told jurors this morning that the state will produce two eyewitnesses who will say Anderson became involved after an original argument with several people on the sidewalk outside the theater.

"(Bryce Johnson) will point out Rashawn Anderson as the individual who fired the weapon," Krug said.

The shooting occurred after a hip-hop concert that night at the Granada. Someone associated with the hip-hop group that performed that night took the home video, Krug said.

Anderson's attorney, Mark Manna, told jurors that Williams was drunk and had used drugs before the incident. He also pointed out through the night several arguments that Williams was involved in, which could give several people motive for the shooting.

Manna also said that Anderson's DNA was found on what police say was the murder weapon because the gun - owned by an acquaintance - was in his home and he had handled it before.

The defense attorney also said one eyewitnesses has changed his story several times since an original interview with police after he did not implicate Anderson as the shooter.

"Rashawn Anderson is not guilty of killing Rashawn Williams or firing the gun that injured (Burnette)."

LaTonia Coleman, the common-law wife of Williams for 14 years, was the state's first witness, and Lawrence police investigators likely will take the stand this afternoon.

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