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Archive for Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jury acquits Lawrence man of attempted murder

April 20, 2011

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A Douglas County jury Wednesday afternoon acquitted a 26-year-old Lawrence man in an attempted murder trial related to a December shooting at a Lawrence apartment complex.

Jurors found Dustin D. Walker not guilty of attempted second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm about 1:45 p.m. after they were given the case Wednesday morning. Prosecutors had accused Walker of shooting Darrick Dew, 23, of Lawrence, during a party at a crowded apartment.

Defense attorney John Kerns said after the verdict that prosecutors had little physical evidence and that there were problems with the credibility of several eyewitnesses at the party.

Kerns said eyewitness Kindra Toshavik contradicted herself several times on the stand Monday and Tuesday about seeing Walker in the area of where Dew was shot.

“It was the right verdict, and from the get-go we felt that way,” Kerns said.

Dew was injured after being shot Dec. 5 during a large party at South Pointe Apartments, 2310 W. 26th St. He had artery damage and was taken to the hospital by a relative. His family members left District Judge Paula Martin’s courtroom after the verdict was read.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome. We believe the evidence was sufficient to bring Mr. Walker to trial in this case,” Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said. “However, we recognize that the lack of cooperation by the witnesses at the scene greatly hampered our ability to present a full case to the jury.”

Prosecutors said many witnesses were not willing to speak with investigators and that many people who were at the party said they didn’t see the incident.

Chief assistant district attorney David Melton and assistant district attorney Michael Allen prosecuted the case.

Walker remains in custody because he still faces a reckless aggravated battery trial later this year related to a 2008 shooting of another Lawrence man in the 2500 block of Redbud Lane.

According to preliminary hearing testimony in that case, Walker told police he was acting in self defense.

Comments

maxcrabb 3 years, 8 months ago

It's a shame. If you want action, you have to own up and report what you saw. I personally would not feel loyalty towards someone who thinks shooting a gun in public around innocent people is a fair form of justice. In fact, any one of my friends stupid enough to pull a gun out during a fight won't be my friend for long.
You better believe I'd testify against them, too.

maxcrabb 3 years, 8 months ago

Of course I'm assuming the defendant DID actually shoot the victim, and witnesses are now going back on their word or lying. I have no way of knowing the true events of the evening, and my comments are pure speculation.

kimk 3 years, 8 months ago

Way to place the blame on others for the not guilty verdict, rather than your inept prosecutors, Charles Branson.

Nonsense 3 years, 8 months ago

KimK - Then you must be sure that Walker was guilty!

tawana 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, I was there and I listened to the star witness who stated that her and her friends drank a pint of vodka, rum and coke, smoked marijuana, and was juiced (cigs laced with embalming fluid). She also said she was having a conversation at the time of the shooting. Her diagram placed, Walker behind a wall when she said she saw him.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I think that at that level of intoxication, some people can see through walls.

tawana 3 years, 8 months ago

That is the same thing they said about Walker. I have never been arrested or even had a speeding ticket for that matter. It seems people are quick to assume things around here. By the way it wasn't the violence that attracted me it was the lack of evidence, and if you are going to try a case you must have that. I guess my criminology studies are working. Sorry

kimk 3 years, 8 months ago

Nooooooooo..... I'm saying that the district attorney should take responsibility for losing at trial and that he should not try to blame others (witnesses) for his obvious shortcomings. My statement has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

Nonsense 3 years, 8 months ago

KimK - it is clear by the history of your previous posts that you have a problem with the DA/LPD. So I will not question your reality. Wait, Yes I will. So, if they put on all the evidence they have that is 'legal' to use and the jury decides it is not enough then they did something wrong?! I suppose you want them to say "Hey, this is not a slam dunk so I am not filing the case" So tell us, just how do they slove this case and prove it at trial Huh? Waiting? What? Nothing? Thought so.

kimk 3 years, 8 months ago

Are you like 10? Really???? "Huh? Waiting? What? Nothing? Thought so." Once again I'm not asking how they "slove" the case. Simply, when they get spanked at trial take responsibility for it and not be a crybaby and blame others. Now, remove your head from CB's you know what and read my post before reponding to it. Thanks!

Steve Jacob 3 years, 8 months ago

That's two big (for Lawrence) trials of late that the DA lost. They have a great track record up to that point, so I guess the point is spin the wheel and go to trial. Especially in both cases that rely to witnesses that are questionable. The DA had to know if the witness was that wasted that would come up.

verity 3 years, 8 months ago

If Branson had decided there wasn't enough evidence to go to trial, people would have been complaining. You never know exactly what the witnesses are going to say and juries vary. Reasonable doubt can mean completely different things to different people and, from what I have seen, one strong person can end up swaying the rest of the jury. Would you trust a witness who said "her and her friends drank a pint of vodka, rum and coke, smoked marijuana, and was juiced (cigs laced with embalming fluid)."? Embalming fluid? I am really behind the times.

And you can say I would testify against a person like this---well, maybe you would and maybe you would be too afraid to do so.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I heard of using embalming fluid on marijuana back way back in the 1970s, when I was laughingly told that a funeral director's son was spraying it onto marijuana and calling it zombie weed. I was rather shocked because I was under the impression that embalming fluid was something you should only use after you're dead.

verity 3 years, 8 months ago

So you're saying I never was with the times?

Maybe it would work as a cheap substitute for Botox.

But I digress.

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

I hope they get him in his next trial.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 8 months ago

"Not Guilty" means no more trial, unless he sues for money in civil court.

verity 3 years, 8 months ago

I think grammaddy is referring to this:

"Walker remains in custody because he still faces a reckless aggravated battery trial later this year related to a 2008 shooting of another Lawrence man in the 2500 block of Redbud Lane."

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

Exactly what I meant. He was lucky this time.

HISSIS2 3 years, 8 months ago

WE WILL PRAY FOR YOU........JUDGEMENT IS NOT UP 2 YOU BECAUSE IM SURE EVERYONE HAS A PAST AND A FUTURE....SO HAVE YOU LOOKED IN THE MIRROR.....LOL GOD BLESS YOU

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

Save your prayers. These kids were lucky because they were all very high and nobody could remember exactly what happened. It's hard to prosecute on a case like that. Hopefully that isn't the case in his other trial.

irvan moore 3 years, 8 months ago

at least the da tried to prosecute even if the evidence that was allowed to be presented was weak, if you want a district attorneys office that only prosecutes slam dunks a lot of criminals will be walking the streets.

Nonsense 3 years, 8 months ago

See there I go. Never argue with a fool. They will reduce you to their level and beat you with experience everytime.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Strange. Earlier today I was on Facebook and one of my friends there quoted something that sounded very much like that Mark Twain quote. It wasn't quite exactly that one, but in using Google to verify that he was indeed using a Mark Twain quote, I saw that exact same one.

After a few moments, I posted this in response to my friend's Facebook comment:

An argument is when you are simply insisting that you are right and the other people are wrong, whereas a debate is people politely taking turns pointing out their point of vew and expecting the other people to consider it.

Amy Heeter 3 years, 8 months ago

Thud buy sure had been at the wrong place at the wrong time more than once.

Angie Dick 3 years, 8 months ago

Did I read this article right? He got off all charges for the Dec shooting but yet has a pending charge for another Shooting in 2008? If I am reading it correctly, I'd say this guy is a smooth criminal. I mean come on, He is the so called shooter in 2 different shootings? Don't take rocket science to know that he was invovled somehow. I mean if indeed the guy didn't do it or had no involvment in it, he shouldn't be found guilty of it. But common knowledge would suggest it, don't ya think? Just go's to show ya how the system works for certain people. I understand it's all based on evidence, but I still think it don't seem right to me!

HISSIS2 3 years, 8 months ago

GOD IS GOOD AND IN THE COURT ROOM GOD TOOK OVER WHAT EVER THE DEVIL IS TRYING TO DO TO MY BROTHER..... NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST HIM SHALL PROSPER.....AND EVER LIAR IN THIS CASE SHALL HAVE THERE DAY AMEN............

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

Maybe you hould encourage him to stay at home with you for some Bible study. It would sure do him more good than hanging out at "The Dog". God didn't have anything to do with what happened in that courtroom.

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