Archive for Friday, May 18, 2007

2 charged in slaying of former resident

May 18, 2007


KCMO police arrest two suspect in death of Lawrence man

Kansas City, Mo., police make two arrests in the shooting death of 37-year-old Lawrence native Derek Orchard - he graduated from Lawrence High in 1988. Enlarge video

Prosecutors in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday charged two people with killing a longtime Lawrence resident who was found shot to death Wednesday morning at a Kansas City park.

The death of Derek A. Orchard, 37, has stunned many people in Lawrence, where he grew up and graduated from high school. Police have characterized the shooting as drug-related. But friends and family members say that doesn't fit the picture of the person they knew.

"I thought the world of him," said Tracy Ford Stacey, who met Orchard in first grade and grew up in the Deerfield neighborhood with him. "I'm so sorry, and I'm sorry that it sounds like some mistakes were made. : I still want people to remember just how great he was."

Jackson County prosecutor James Kanatzar announced Thursday that Antonio E. Smith, 17, and Lamar D. Quarles, 18, both of Kansas City, Mo., had been charged with second-degree murder, robbery and armed criminal action in Orchard's death.

Orchard was married with three children, had a career in business and marketing, and lived in Overland Park. His father, Richard A. Orchard, is a well-known Lawrence eye doctor.

The question of how he met up with the shooting suspects is what has family members searching for answers. They are highly skeptical of the police's characterization of what happened.

"We really don't have answers. : I don't know about any drugs being around at all," his mother, Georgia Orchard, said Thursday evening.

According to a written probable-cause statement filed by police, Smith told detectives that Orchard approached him and Quarles at Riverview Gardens apartments near the 1600 block of East Missouri Avenue and indicated he "wanted to party," the document states. The site is near Paseo Boulevard and Missouri Avenue, just northeast of downtown Kansas City, Mo.

"We know where he was. We know what that area is known for," said Sgt. Tony Sanders, a spokesman for the Kansas City, Mo., police.

The report also gives the account of an unnamed witness who said that Smith and Quarles introduced Orchard to him late Tuesday evening at the complex and told the witness to "go along with" a plan to steal Orchard's vehicle.

Smith told police that Orchard drove him, Quarles and two other men to a park "off 107th Street," and that Quarles pointed a gun at Orchard, told him to put his hands in the air, shot him at least twice and went through his pockets before the group fled in Orchard's Honda Accord.

Shortly after midnight Tuesday, police stopped four people, including Smith and Quarles, driving near 12th Street and Paseo. Police learned the vehicle belonged to Orchard, and they found Orchard's credit cards on one of the men, according to the police report.

A construction worker found Orchard's body several hours later - early Wednesday morning - at Clark Ketterman Athletic Field near 107th Street and Skiles Avenue in southern Kansas City, about 10 miles from where the two suspects say they initially met Orchard.

Orchard went to Grinnell College after graduating from Lawrence High School and later earned an MBA from Kansas University.

Ford Stacey, Orchard's longtime neighbor, said she knew him as a good father and, in his high school days, a talented singer, actor and soccer player. She remembers his singing the song "Fire and Rain" at the annual "Showtime" program at LHS and sounding just like James Taylor.

"He's just an amazing person," she said. "He has lots of friends. : I think everyone's stunned."


formerjay 11 years, 1 month ago

I found the Lawrence Journal online in hopes of finding better stories about Derek than the KC Star has written. I am saddened by the e-mails that people think Derek was on drugs. I had to write to clarify. I agree, when I hear about murders in the news and hear that drugs are involved, I don't give it much attention because it is harder to feel sorry for someone who has done drugs. Derek, however, was not this sterotype. I know him :.not from years ago but from how he was recently. If you ever met him, you would indeed be shocked by the accusation that drugs were involved. He was a conservative, intelligent, responsible, loyal friend and father. No one knows how he ended up with those horrible people who stole his life. Unfortunately, the only information about how he met his killers is coming from them. He was somehow in the wrong place at the wrong time. Please remember Derek the way he really was, not the way the media has recently protrayed him. Derek, you are in my prayers.

minko224 11 years, 1 month ago

formerjay, I feel equally bad for this man and his family if he had been doing drugs, and if he hadn't been doing drugs. I don't think that a person who does "drugs" is any less of a person than others and somehow is more deserving to die than a non drug taker. I won't even go into the fact that you were referring only to people or persons who do "illegal" drugs and not those with prescriptions at the pharmacy.

camper 11 years, 1 month ago

This is an absolute tradgedy. Lets not criticize the victim here. We don't really know what happened. And if Derek made a bad choice, who has not. Let's not cast stones here. We all make mistakes.

Stymie 11 years, 1 month ago

Marion, Don't believe everything you read. The "wanted to party" comes from the interrogation of the scum that committed the murder. Do you think anything they say is believable? The only people who might know what really happened aren't telling right now.

ndgood 11 years, 1 month ago

First off Marion, I will assume that you do not have first hand knowledge of Derek or of his situation. And I will assume that you come from a broken home and did not know your own father, since you believe that Derek's wife and kids will be better off with out him.

As pointed out in other posts we only have the "facts" from two knuckleheads that were somehow involved in his death. My question to you oh wise one, who wishes to pass judgment based upon very limited third party information, Is why in the police report do they not mention that they found any drugs in the car or on the two vermin that committed this crime? You think these two thugs were smart enough to get rid of any drugs when they were caught speeding in a stolen car, carrying Derek's credit cards and the two murder weapons.

I think you need to put yourself in the family's shoes before you start typing a post and blaming the victim for the crime, I hope to God you never find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and your family has to deal with the speculation of nitwits with a computer that feel the need to attack the memory of person they never knew.

And to the family, our hearts go to you for this tragic loss.

Stephanie Weaver 11 years, 1 month ago

The nefarious reports of Derek's purpose in that area are based solely on the perpetrator's account. To the folks that were far to quick to judge: It's a shame you did not read the article more closely before you went on a heartless rant against this man. Remember that his family is probably reading this.

My mom sent me this news today and I am stunned and heartbroken. I knew Derek in high school, haven't been in touch since, but thought of him often through the years. He was one of the few boys in high school I had a comfortable platonic friendship with, a genuinely good friend whom I could always count on for a shoulder to cry on, a hearty laugh, and everything in between. I used to pull on his leg hairs during rehearsal breaks at SYT - they were so prolific for such a youngster, and though it hurt him like hell, he never got mad.

The fact that he was such a genuine, uncompromising person back then really speaks to who I'm sure he became as an adult. I am devastated that we've lost such a good person from this earth. It's more people like him that we need here, not fewer. Humanity will miss this man more than anyone, except those who knew him, will ever know.

candycane 11 years, 1 month ago

There is only one other person that knows exactly what happened and he is not alive to tell his side. When you only have the one side what else do you have to go on? Not a lot. When all the reports come in, if any were done for toxicology then we would all know if he actually had a drug problem. Until then let's not destroy his character until ALL FACTS are actually presented. Let's not make presumptions about a well resepected gentleman because that is what 2 other drug heads indicated happened. It is easier to place blame on a dead man since he obviously will not be talking, the other two are already in so much trouble why not try to take some of the heat off of them and place blame on Orchard. Anyways, I would like to say how sorry I am for the loss of Mr. Orchard. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Okay. I'll call you a spade, Marion. Because you're sure shoveling a lot of it here.

You did not know the man. You have no idea how these two thugs met up with him. You really think you can trust the word of two criminals who are saying anything to try and save their own skins?

Enough with the "he made the choice" crap. You don't know any such thing for certain.

Oh...I get criminals and thugs NEVER go to nice neighborhoods to find a victim.

Why, we all know that decent neighborhoods don't have to worry about crime at all, because the thugs always stay in the "hood" to perpetrate their crimes...


Sigmund 11 years, 1 month ago

Drugs, The Other 'Victimless' Crime.

TxJayhawk91 11 years, 1 month ago

All...I know it's hard, but just ignore Marion. This is a lonely soul who obviously makes quite a hobby out of posting online. Click on his/her name and you'll see nearly 7,000 posts.

I'm a former Lawrence resident and went to school with the Orchard kids. My deepest sympathy goes out to all of Derek's family and friends.

tessy 11 years, 1 month ago

What if I said Derek quite his job about a week before the incident but left the house every day as if he was going to work?

tomkatt 11 years, 1 month ago

I believe ANTone, upon being involved in ANY incident deemed newsworthy, could and would find themselves being shredded and decimated in these postings by the like of some of the above individuals, none of whom could withstand the same degree of scrutiny. Opinion? Be cautious about runnin' your mouth (or, in this case, fingers) without the facts of the matter...probably NO one will ever know the truth, except MAYBE the perpetrators of this inane act of violence, and by now they have probably re-arranged the event in THEIR recollections so completely as to believe they were justified in their actions...stupid, stupid people, doing stupid things, and then others who, without data, passing judgement? Please. Behave as though your I.Q. was somewhat higher that your belt size, if in fact it is...if not, then rave on.

James Baughman 11 years, 1 month ago

Tessy, I'd say that you're a cold, heartless, irresponsible gossip. Just exactly what are you trying to accomplish by putting something like that out there? Do you honestly think you're helping anything? Basically, you've made a very passive-agressive statement, and are now waiting for other comments to come in asking you about what other "juicy" details you may have heard around the rumor mill. But is this any of your business, or my business, or really anyone besides his family and friends? I'm pretty sure you were not friends with Derek, and you do not know his family. Anyone with a sense of decency and loyalty to either would stop themselves from spreading this kind of stuff around.

quietgirl 11 years, 1 month ago

Marion - I really wish you would just go away. We would be better off without you!!! You spew junk that you know nothing about. Were you there? Did you know Derek personally? If you don't know what happened then don't ASSume what happened or take the words of two known killers. If all you can say are generalizations and assumptions of what happened then please, just don't say anything at all. You are very cold hearted and cruel. For once, I just wish you would SHUT UP and leave this post...

Nick Yoho 11 years, 1 month ago

This man is a victim of the drug WAR.just like alcohol Prohibition created the mob.this modern prohibition created these thugs.It has nothing to do with what he was doing there,I tend to think he wasn't on dope,but it doesn't matter.He died because of the drug war its that simple.

Nick Yoho 11 years, 1 month ago

Marion,yesterday you recommended every one have a beer and mellow out.IF this guy was trying to "party" does he deserve to die because his drug of choice is different than yours?

you my friend are a hypocrite.

tomkatt 11 years, 1 month ago

"quietgirl", don't you realize "marion" is merely baiting you, trying desperately to get SOMEone, ANYone to pay some attention to an otherwise small, jaded, insignificant life? Ignore long enough, and "it" will recede into the shadows from whence "it" came...otherwise, it's just a dance...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.