Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hearings for downtown Lawrence shooting defendants pushed back a week

October 18, 2017

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It will be another week before court proceedings get rolling in earnest for two men arrested in connection with the Oct. 1 quintuple shooting in downtown Lawrence.

Both men were scheduled to appear with their newly appointed attorneys Wednesday afternoon in Douglas County District Court. However, their hearings — along with hearings for numerous other unrelated cases — were pushed back because a jury trial is going on in the court division where they were scheduled.

Ahmad M. Rayton, 22, and Dominique J. McMillon, 19, both of Topeka, are now scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in Judge Sally Pokorny’s courtroom.

Ahmad Malik Rayton

Ahmad Malik Rayton

Dominique Jacquez McMillon

Dominique Jacquez McMillon

Both are charged with multiple crimes in connection with the shooting incident that killed three people and injured two others about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 1 near the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets. However, neither is charged with murder.

Lawrence police expect more arrests to be made, Capt. Adam Heffley said during a Tuesday press conference. However, he said it was difficult to predict how many or when.

Those who died in the shootings were Leah Elizabeth Brown, 22, of Shawnee; Colwin Lynn Henderson, 20, of Topeka; and Tremel Dupree Dean-Rayton, 24, also of Topeka. Lawrence police identified the two other people who were shot as Tahzay Rayton, 19, and Royelle Hunt, 28, both of Topeka. Dean-Rayton and Tahzay Rayton were brothers, according to Dean-Rayton's obituary.

“We believe one or more individuals were specifically targeted in this incident while other individuals were bystanders in the area,” police said in a news release about the arrests.

Media interviews with relatives, social media and other sources have revealed links between the two slain men, at least one of the injured men and the two defendants. However, none has connected Brown with the other four victims or the defendants.

The charges against Ahmad Rayton and McMillon were filed Friday, according to court records, and made public after their arrests.

Both were arrested Monday in Topeka, Lawrence police said, following multiple search and arrest warrants being served with help from the Topeka Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

Rayton is charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, both felonies.

He is accused of shooting one of the injured men, Hunt, in the leg, according to the charges. Charges also accuse him of possessing a gun within 10 years of being convicted of aggravated assault.

Tuesday afternoon, Rayton made his first appearance in court via video from the jail. Topeka-based attorney Nicholas David was appointed to represent him, but David asked to withdraw from the case because of an unspecified conflict of interest, according to a motion filed Tuesday.

Court records did not list a new attorney for Rayton as of Wednesday afternoon.

McMillon is charged with one count of aggravated assault, a felony, and one count of battery, a misdemeanor.

He allegedly threatened a person named Robert Wheeler with a gun and caused physical contact with Wheeler in a “rude, insulting or angry manner,” the charges say.

McMillon also appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, from the jail, where a judge appointed attorney John Clark Gilroy to represent him.

Both men remained jailed Wednesday, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed. Rayton's bond was $1 million, and McMillon's $25,000.

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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