Archive for Friday, July 19, 2013

Topeka woman, 19, charged with murder in killing of Lawrence man

July 19, 2013


Lawrence crime, fire, courts coverage
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Brittny M. Adams

Brittny M. Adams

Jonathan R. Rush

Jonathan R. Rush

A 19-year-old Topeka woman has been charged with murder in the shooting of a 51-year-old Lawrence man Wednesday. A Wichita man also arrested in the case is facing lesser charges, including aggravated assault.

Douglas County prosecutors charged Brittny M. Adams with second-degree murder today in Douglas County District Court, where she appeared via video from Douglas County Jail. Adams was arrested in Topeka Wednesday along with Jonathan R. Rush, 28, of Wichita, less than an hour after police found Gary Edens, 51, shot and killed at his home in the 600 block of Michigan St.

Edens' killer may have arrived at the home looking for someone else, said Susan Burris, Edens' common-law wife. She said Lawrence police told her the shooter was looking for a person associated with Edens' adult son, who was staying at the residence temporarily.

A neighbor who performed CPR on Edens said the man had been shot in the head. Edens was pronounced dead at Lawrence Memorial Hospital a short time after police responded to the shooting about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The owner of the residence, James Dunn, said Edens had lived there since January. Two sons, an adult and a child, were at home with Edens when he was killed, Dunn said.

There had not been a murder reported in Lawrence since 2008, a year that saw four murder cases in the city.

Douglas County Chief Judge Robert Fairchild set bond in Adams' case at $100,000. In addition to the murder charge in Douglas County, Adams also faces charges of theft and obstruction in Shawnee County in an unrelated case.

Rush, also appearing in court via video today, has been charged with aggravated assault, obstruction, and criminal possession of a firearm. Fairchild set bond in Rush's case at $75,000, partly because Rush has a criminal record in Shawnee County, where he was convicted of criminal possession of a firearm in 2005 and attempted robbery in 2007.

Both Adams and Rush are scheduled to appear in court again on July 29.


bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

Bond in Adams' case has been set at $100,000. In addition to the murder charge in Douglas County, she also faces charges of theft and obstruction in Shawnee County in an unrelated case.

---her adult life is off to a great start. ... sad.

Ian_Cummings 4 years, 9 months ago

Douglas County Chief Judge Robert Fairchild set the bond in this case. Ian Cummings, LJW.

XNYKID 4 years, 9 months ago

in the article is says fairchild was the judge

Currahee 4 years, 9 months ago

Not necessarily. 2nd degree murder would be like person A bringing a gun into a home to scare the people, but ends up discharging it because they get angry or upset- leading to the death of person B. Not planned. 1st degree murder would be like person A bringing a gun into person B's home because person B owned money, etc. and they wanted to get even so they killed person B. I think anyway, the main difference is pre-meditation. 1st degree is if it was planned 2nd degree is more like it wasn't planned but it happened anyway.

Currahee 4 years, 9 months ago

It seems like it but we won't know until we get the facts of what happened. Remember, the system is technically supposed to gather the facts first before rendering judgement. Lots of burglary crimes can involve weapons to intimidate people, and honestly guns are pretty effective in coercing people. I mean if a person held a gun to my head demanding money, I'd rather part with the money than get my head blown off. I'm no expert in laws, but I think in that situation you described, it would be 2nd degree murder because you weren't planning to kill person B. On the whole, I agree that these two people are a waste of oxygen.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, according to the reporting, they went there, knocked on the door, and shot the guy when the door was opened.

Sounds like 1st degree murder to me.

It would be a shame, and a sort of technical glitch to call it 2nd degree just because they shot the wrong person.

Currahee 4 years, 9 months ago

Even with the facts, you have to give them due process. You can't just go about assuming everything, this is why the Boston marathon bomber is on trial and not being hung after being caught. Even if it is blatantly obvious what happened, you still need to process through the court system. Innocent until proven guilty, not guilty before proven innocent.

Topple 4 years, 9 months ago

Don't think he's saying to skip due process. He's saying why he thinks it should be 1st degree murder charge and not 2nd.

ebyrdstarr 4 years, 9 months ago

It's entirely normal to file the initial charges as second degree murder. I'm assuming the charge here is intentional second degree murder, not reckless, so the only element that is different is premeditation. They have to charge within a very short time window or else they would have to release the person. So they start out with second degree and then amend upwards later, usually before the preliminary hearing so they don't have to do that twice.

mk9992 4 years, 9 months ago

Have we not learned what happens when you overcharge. Casey Anthony George Zimmerman

costello 4 years, 9 months ago

Overcharged? How do you figure? Based on the early reports this was a pretty heinous crime - shooting a man in the head when he answers his door. And his son was a witness. And now we learn he may not have been the intended victim.

If she's alleged to be the murderer, it's undercharged and the bond is too low. She sounds dangerous.

LawrenceTownie 4 years, 9 months ago

I thought if a murder was committed during a crime, ALL people doing the crime would also be charged with murder. Why was Mr. Rush not also charged with murder? Both need to be put away for a long, long time to think about how they not only ruined their lives, but also the victim's family. The taxpayers will now be supporting the youngest son and also paying our prosecutor/judge to put the perpetrators away.

costello 4 years, 9 months ago

What was the crime that Rush was participating in? If he just gave her a ride to Lawrence without knowing what she had planned, that's not a crime. I don't think we have enough facts to know if they had planned a crime together.

Btw, I don't think we can assume the taxpayer will be supporting the younger son now. And if we are, what of it? That pales in comparison to the real tragedies here.

costello 4 years, 9 months ago

"the fact is that the tragedy goes way beyond just his death"

Indeed. Those were the real tragedies I was referring to. I can't tell if you're correcting me or just expanding on my comment.

Personally my heart catches every time I think about the fact that his sons were present.

As to ex-cons giving people rides to places where they commit crimes, I guess we can speculate all we want. But if she has no car, I imagine she gets rides to lots of places - including places where she has no criminal agenda.

Presumably the police are investigating. It appears to me that they've charged him with what they have evidence for at this point so they can hold on to him. If he knew she was planning on committing a crime, he'll probably be charged with murder too. So, in response to the OP, I guess the prosecutors don't have the luxury of assuming and speculating like anonymous Internet posters do and then making charges based on those assumptions. They have to have actual evidence.

James Minor 4 years, 9 months ago

So, she maybe stalked the person to his residence and upon meeting him face to face became threatened for her life and killed him. Sounds like she will be found not guilty of all charges.

KansasPerson 4 years, 9 months ago

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