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Archive for Saturday, May 26, 2007

15 years given in murder

May 26, 2007

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Rashawn Anderson, 20, of Topeka, was sentenced to just more than 15 and a half years Friday for second-degree murder and aggravated battery in a February 2006 incident at the Granada in downtown Lawrence.

Rashawn Anderson, 20, of Topeka, was sentenced to just more than 15 and a half years Friday for second-degree murder and aggravated battery in a February 2006 incident at the Granada in downtown Lawrence.

LaTonia Coleman holds a picture Friday of her late husband, Robert Earl Williams, who was shot in front of the Granada in February 2006. District Judge Paula Martin sentenced Rashawn Anderson to 187 months for that murder and the aggravated battery of another man.

LaTonia Coleman holds a picture Friday of her late husband, Robert Earl Williams, who was shot in front of the Granada in February 2006. District Judge Paula Martin sentenced Rashawn Anderson to 187 months for that murder and the aggravated battery of another man.

Rashawn Anderson to spend over 15 years in jail for shooting

A judge orders a Topeka man to spend more than 15 years in prison for a shooting outside a Lawrence nightclub that killed one man and injured another. Enlarge video

LaTonia Coleman has been waiting for this day for more than a year.

"My family still lives with the loss every day, as if it were yesterday," she told a Douglas County District Court judge Friday afternoon. "The pain is dramatic."

Coleman clutched a worn picture of her husband, 46-year-old Robert Earl Williams, of Topeka, who was gunned down outside the Granada in February 2006.

At times during Friday's sentencing for the man responsible for killing her husband, she held the picture next to her heart.

"There's nothing that can make up for it. No sentence can bring him back, but I want him to be held accountable," Coleman told District Judge Paula Martin.

A jury last month convicted Rashawn Anderson, 20, Topeka, of second-degree murder and aggravated battery for the Feb. 5, 2006, shooting outside the Granada that killed Williams and seriously injured a Kansas City, Kan., man.

The gunfire erupted minutes after a hip-hop concert had ended at the downtown nightclub.

"There's no reason for it to happen," Coleman said. "It was just senseless."

But Friday brought some relief to Coleman as the judge sentenced Anderson to more than 15 years in prison.

Defense attorney Mark Manna had asked for the minimum sentence, given Anderson's youth and his lack of a criminal record.

Prosecutors sought the aggravated sentence, calling Williams' murder a "calculated killing."

"It was a cowardice act of shooting him in the back repeatedly," Assistant District Attorney Trent Krug argued. "He fired a weapon into a crowd of people. It could have produced a much more tragic result."

The judge compromised, ordering Anderson to spend 187 months behind bars. Despite the closure the sentencing brought, Williams' family members still had one burning question.

"The only thing that will always be in my heart is the word 'why,'" Williams' mother, Ida Mae Williams, told the judge.

Anderson could serve even more time behind bars. He's currently facing first-degree murder charges in Shawnee County in connection with the July 2005 shooting death of a 19-year-old Topeka man.

As for Coleman, she plans to move away from her home in Lawrence. Her 8-year-old son still struggles with the loss of his father. She hopes moving to Seattle will help ease the pain.

"My life moves on," she said. "I'll never forget him, but we're going to go back where the memories were good."

Comments

davidnta 7 years, 7 months ago

She should be dressed however she wants to (within legal limits of course).

nagene 7 years, 7 months ago

It dosent matter how my sister was dressed the person who killed her sons father is going to prison, and if convicted for the shooting death of the person in topeka he might not see the streets again. So whats more important, her dress or getting a possible two time killer off the streets?

nagene 7 years, 7 months ago

smitty, I hope nothing tragic happens to you or in your family. Right now you sound like the biggest jerk ever. If something dose happen make sure you let us know so people can belittle you make you feel hurt for the loss of your family member and god forbid one of those "Topekans" are the cause of it. No it might be one of those kansas citiens when your not doing nothing or maybe show a little road rage and low and behold your ambushed. So would you then be contributing to your own demise? Things are thought differently when you have walked in someones footsteps.

Now about the crime rate, that has nothing to do with the Topekans or the anyone else. That is the result of your appointed President RAGGEDY @##$! BUSH. dont go blaiming others for the #@# up of the person you put in office.

Unless you have been there and experienced something horrific in your life you would have more compasion for my family and Mr. Williams family. Death is death no matter how it comes about and no one should die by another mans hands.

The sarcasum is not necessary nor needed. Its childish and disrespectful. GROW UP have some kind of sympathy, empathy in your life. My sister is now raising a child a young black (soon to be) man on her own. He allready has two strikes against him. 1. He's black 2. he is a male.

Now about the law suit comment, I bet you had no problem when Nichole Browns family having a wrongful death suit on OJ, so what would be the diffrence in this case? But honesty, your opinions dont matter, you dont matter your just a anonymus person who dosent have the balls to say half the @##@# you write on here to someones face in knowing you would get your @#$#$ kicked and then your family would be the ones crying at a funeral!!!!!!!

doc1 7 years, 7 months ago

Smitty I have to agree with you on this one. In my opinion If you live the thug life then you better be willing to live with the thug life. Example: Getting shot at.

It's not a racism rant, it's a lifestyle rant. I've seen plenty of white boy wanna be thugs so don't turn this into a racial thing. I'm glad a murderer is off the street but I think its a slap in the face on society and the family that they punk gets 15 years and not life.

nagene 7 years, 7 months ago

I havent threatened anyone, I was talking in general I wouldnt waist my time with you. Your opinion is your opinion unless you have been there you dont know how another person feels and to antagonise a person dont you think your going to get some one with an argumentative attitude? And the comment you made is a stereotype, you dont know the half of how Mr. Williams lived his life or how my sister lives hers. Just because they were out and having a good time like most other people in the world. He deserved to be killed? He carried a knife for what ever reason he deserved to be shot in the back by a person he did not even have an argument with? what about people carring guns for protection (with a permit)do they deserve to be killed and you say I should get over myself and help raise my nephew, I live in Seattle and my sister is there for now, When she gets back up here I will and my family is doing so while he is there so dont stress yourself with his up bringing.

With OJ, I was saying that the family sued because there loved one was killed by the hands of SOMEONE the person who they thought was responsible is who they sued. If you took it as racsist thats on you.

Now, about the comment made by doc1, do you know what kind of lifestyle Mr. Williams lived? did you know him? were you friends with him? just because he was out at a concert and he had on him a knife you think he was a terrible person? and lived a certain lifestyle, Do you know that he lived the thug life? Or was it that he made a bad call by bringing a knife just in case he had to defend himself and his wife from younger males. You have to remember he was in his 40's how was he to protect himself from some one who is younger then him?

Did I miss something , what family problems were brought outside of the home? Im just trying to defend my sister, I dont know any of you and you have the right to say and feel however you want but she is my babysister, he was a good father and a good provider, for the people on here to critisize and humiliate people for their kicks and assuming things is just making an ass out of them selves. You know god dont like ugly!

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