Triple murder defendant still has no attorney; his and companion cases progressing together

Defendant Anthony L. Roberts Jr. is called to appear before Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 in the Division Six courtroom. Roberts, who is accused of murdering three people in downtown Lawrence on Oct. 1, is charged with four felony counts in the case. Two other defendants in the incident also appeared in the courtroom Wednesday — Dominique J. McMillon, seated in back, and Ahmad Rayton, seated in front.

Court cases against three men charged in the quintuple shooting on Massachusetts Street continue moving forward as a group, and appear likely to have a joint preliminary hearing when that time comes.

Each defendant appeared briefly Wednesday afternoon before Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny.

The judge scheduled next appearances for all three men for the same time next week, on Nov. 8.

District Attorney Charles Branson said the state and defense attorneys involved so far have agreed to schedule one preliminary hearing for the three defendants. A date will be set later for that hearing, where the state presents evidence to show probable cause to try the defendants on the charges.

The defendant charged with the most serious crimes — three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder — still does not have an attorney on file with the court.

Anthony L. Roberts Jr., 20, of Topeka, made his first appearance in court a week ago, and told the judge he planned to hire his own attorney.

However, on Wednesday, he walked to the podium alone.

“I was going to ask for one more week for that to happen. I’m in the middle of signing a contract with him right now,” Roberts told the judge, without naming the attorney.

Ahmad M. Rayton, 22, of Topeka, is charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He appeared in court with his appointed attorney, Michael Clarke.

Dominique J. McMillon, 19, of Topeka, is charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of battery. He appeared with his appointed attorney, J.C. Gilroy.

Roberts and Rayton are jailed on $1 million bond. McMillon is being held on $25,000 bond.

The shooting happened about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 1 at the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets. A Shawnee woman and two Topeka men were killed by the gunfire, and two other Topeka men were hurt.