Douglas County prosecutors have dismissed a case against a 26-year-old Lawrence man accused in a 2008 shooting at a Lawrence apartment complex.
Defense attorney John Kerns said he was notified prosecutors agreed to dismiss an aggravated battery charge against Dustin D. Walker before his June 13 trial. A Douglas County jury in April had acquitted Walker on an attempted second-degree murder charge for a Dec. 5 shooting at South Pointe Apartments, 2310 W. 26th St.
“The bottom line: He’s proclaimed his innocence from day one, and he’s ready to move on,” said Kerns, who defended Walker in both cases.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be re-filed if new details emerge.
“With both the victim and witness unable to recall the incident, we were left without a way to proceed with the case,” Branson said. “If additional facts or evidence are discovered, we retain the option of re-filing our case.”
In the recent case, prosecutors initially charged Walker and Asia Shanae Morrison, of Lawrence, with aggravated robbery and intentional aggravated battery for the April 2, 2008, shooting of Stephen Patterson during an altercation at an apartment.
A Lawrence police officer testified at a preliminary hearing last month that Walker told him during an interview that Patterson had a gun, charged him during an altercation, and that the gun discharged during the struggle. Walker said he had left the apartment and later learned Patterson had been shot.
Patterson, who was shot in the leg but recovered, and another witness both testified they did not remember details from that day because they were using drugs at the time.
District Judge Paula Martin after the hearing said there wasn’t enough evidence for the robbery charge against Walker, and she reduced the severity of the aggravated battery charge. Martin also didn’t find enough evidence for Morrison to face trial, and her case was dismissed.
Martin was scheduled to rule next week on a motion regarding the admissibility at trial of Walker’s statements to police before the charge was dismissed. Walker has been free on $40,000 bond since May 2.
In the April trial for the unrelated South Pointe Apartments shooting, Kerns criticized the credibility of witnesses who said they believed Walker had shot another man at a crowded apartment party, and prosecutors said the lack of cooperation by witnesses at the scene hampered their case.