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

Brittny M. Adams

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.