Audrey Ferguson didn't want her roommate talking to Douglas County Sheriff's detectives about what she knew about Anthony Vital's murder.
And, for that, she was charged with obstruction.
But Wednesday, during Ferguson's preliminary hearing on the charge, a Douglas County district judge questioned whether those charges should stand.
Judge Michael Malone said he wants attorneys to submit more information in writing to him as he considers whether Ferguson should stand trial.
Ferguson, 49, was charged with obstructing the investigation into Vital's death after James Neal Williams, who at the time was an inmate at the Douglas County Jail, told officers that Ferguson may have had bloody clothes at her apartment associated with the murder.
After deputies served a search warrant Nov. 9 at Ferguson's apartment, 2558 Redbud Lane, detectives tried to interview both Ferguson and her roommate, Deputy Chris Thomas testified Wednesday.
As Thomas and seven other investigators interviewed Ferguson and her roommate at their apartment, Ferguson allegedly told her roommate not to cooperate, and eventually told the sheriff's deputies to leave.
"The interview had to stop, and they had to regroup," Assistant District Attorney James McCabria said in court Wednesday.
When detectives later called the apartment to try to convince Ferguson's roommate to talk, Ferguson allegedly took the phone and hung up on investigators, said Patrick Pollock, a detective with the sheriff's office.
McCabria argued that because of Ferguson's pressure, the roommate did not cooperate with deputies.
"Clearly, the purpose of the defendant was to frustrate the investigation," McCabria said.
But defense attorney Kevin Babbit told Malone that both Ferguson and her roommate were adults, more than capable of making their own decisions in their own home. Plus, he said, because the search warrant had been successfully executed, Ferguson didn't actually interfere with the investigation.
"(The deputies) didn't have the power to make anyone speak to them," Babbit said in court.
Both Ferguson and her roommate also were subpoenaed to testify at a closed-door inquisition hearing to gather more information. Little information was provided about the inquisition during Wednesday's hearing.
After testimony from the deputies, the judge questioned the validity of the charges, asking McCabria if Ferguson had done anything wrong, other than exercise her freedom of speech.
"Doesn't she have the right to go about her home, acting the way she wants to act?" Malone asked. "Or did it become a mini police station?"
Instead of ruling Wednesday whether the case should go to trial, Malone ordered McCabria and Babbit to prepare more information explaining their cases. Oral arguments will resume March 9.
Meanwhile, James Neal Williams has pleaded guilty to his own obstruction charge. But he disappeared after Judge Paula Martin allowed him a one-day furlough Jan. 10 to visit his girlfriend who allegedly was in the hospital.
District Attorney Charles Branson said Martin issued the unsupervised furlough even after he requested that an officer monitor Williams while he was out of jail.
Williams, who is not back in custody, is scheduled for sentencing later this week.
Two other people have been charged in connection with the shooting.
Carlos "Smurf" Green, 21, Lawrence, was charged in early January for being a felon in possession of a handgun on Oct. 14 - the day of Vital's murder. He remains in Douglas County Jail, awaiting a March 28 trial.
A fourth defendant, Major C. "Ja Ja" Edwards, 27, is awaiting trail in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. His trial has been delayed pending a psychological evaluation.