Judge seals affidavits in Mass. Street murder case, citing ongoing investigation and potential danger to witnesses

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.

A judge has sealed affidavits supporting the arrests of two men charged in connection with this month’s triple homicide in downtown Lawrence.

Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny ordered the documents sealed because the police investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the orders, signed and released to the Journal-World on Tuesday.

“The release of the information could cause the destruction of evidence,” Pokorny wrote. “Additionally, law-enforcement has reason to believe the release of witness names could endanger the life or physical safety of such persons.”

The shootings happened about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 1 near the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets. Three people were killed by gunfire, and two others were injured.

Arrest affidavits are prepared by law enforcement to show probable cause for arresting someone. In this case three men have been arrested.

Pokorny cited the same reason and used similar language for sealing affidavits supporting the arrests of the following two defendants:

• Anthony L. Roberts Jr., 20, of Topeka. Roberts is charged with one count of first-degree felony murder in the killing of 22-year-old Leah Brown, of Shawnee; two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Colwin Lynn Henderson, 20, and Tre’Mel Dupree Dean-Rayton, 24, both of Topeka; and one count of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Tahzay Rayton, 19, of Topeka, “twice.”

Pokorny also wrote in her order that while Roberts has said he plans to hire his own lawyer, he does not yet have an attorney on record with the court.

• Dominique J. McMillon, 19, of Topeka. McMillon is charged with one count of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening a person named Robert Wheeler with a gun, and one count of battery, also against Wheeler.

The Journal-World also has requested the affidavit supporting the arrest of the third man charged in the case, but had not received a response from the court late Tuesday. That man is:

• Ahmad Rayton, 22, of Topeka. Rayton is charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Royelle Hunt, 28, of Topeka, in the leg. He’s also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.