Murder defendant now charged with another, earlier violent crime against a teenager

Steven A. Drake

A Lawrence man jailed since September for allegedly murdering a man on his doorstep has been charged with a previous violent crime against a teen.

Steven A. Drake III, 20, was charged this week with aggravated battery, a felony, for allegedly causing great bodily harm to a 16-year-old on July 8, according to the charges, filed Monday in Douglas County District Court. The victim is now 17.

The Lawrence Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the incident that led to the charge.

The victim’s mother, reached Friday by the Journal-World, said her son suffered a head injury in a fight, which involved multiple people he knew, outside a home in Lawrence. She didn’t want to talk more about the incident, however, due to the pending prosecution.

She said that evening her son called and told her he’d been in a fight and needed her to come pick him up, which she did. He was sweating profusely, extremely tired and complaining of a bad headache, so she took him to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he began vomiting as well, she said.

When tests determined he had a brain bleed, he was transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where he underwent immediate brain surgery and stayed a week, she said.

Steven A. Drake

Other than a long scar from his ear to the top of his head, where doctors cut through his skull, her son does not appear to have lasting effects, she said.

“He’s doing really well,” the mother said. “He healed up really well.”

A little over two months after the fight, 26-year-old Bryce Holladay, of Lawrence, was fatally shot, and Drake was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder in his death.

The homicide happened about 9:45 p.m. Sept. 19 at Drake’s home, a duplex in the 2000 block of West 27th Terrace.

Drake and other witnesses told police that Holladay appeared to be high on meth and refused to leave the home, even after multiple people tried to spray him with Mace and physically force him out the door, according to an affidavit prepared by police in support of Drake’s arrest in the case.

According to the affidavit, Drake told police that he pointed his gun at Holladay and warned him to leave twice before shooting him in the face at close range, in the doorway.

Drake remains jailed on $750,000 bond in the murder case.

Drake made his first appearance in court in the new aggravated battery case Friday afternoon via video from the jail. His next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 28, and his bond in the new case is $50,000.

Attorney Angela Keck is appointed to represent him in both cases.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office first received the aggravated battery case from police in early August, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the DA. She said, in an email, that the DA’s office received “supplements” on Aug. 22, Oct. 10 and Nov. 8.

“Receipt and review of all documents regarding the case was completed and the case was charged this month,” Wright Kunard said.