Jury trial set for September in downtown Lawrence triple murder case

photo by: Nick Krug

From left, defendants Anthony L. Roberts Jr., Ahmad M. Rayton and Dominique J. McMillon sit during a joint preliminary hearing, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, for charges related to a October 2017 triple homicide on Massachusetts Street.

Three Topeka men charged in connection with the triple homicide on Massachusetts Street are now scheduled to face a jury in early September.

Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny on Friday scheduled a two-week trial to begin Sept. 4.

Their trial had been scheduled for May but was delayed at the request of the defendant charged with the most severe and numerous crimes, including all three of the killings.

All three defendants told Pokorny Friday that they agreed to waive their right to a speedy trial within 150 days of arraignment, acknowledging it would help them for their attorneys to have more time to prepare.

The quintuple shooting happened at the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 1, 2017, as bars were letting out for the night.

Killed were 22-year-old Leah Brown, of Shawnee; 20-year-old Colwin Lynn Henderson, of Topeka; and 24-year-old Tre’Mel Dupree Dean-Rayton, of Topeka. Two other Topeka men were shot but survived.

• Anthony L. Roberts Jr., 21, is charged with two counts of first-degree felony murder, one count of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder.

Roberts remains jailed on $1 million bond. His attorney is Jennifer Chaffee.

• Ahmad Rayton, 22, is charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rayton is jailed on $1 million bond. His appointed attorney is Michael Clarke.

• Dominique J. McMillon, 19, is charged with one felony: a single count of aggravated assault. McMillon also is charged with misdemeanor battery, for allegedly hitting a man during a fight that preceded the shootings.

McMillon is being held on $25,000 bond. His appointed attorney is J.C. Gilroy.

At the end of a three-day preliminary hearing, Pokorny bound the three defendants over for trial, and each pleaded not guilty on Feb. 9. Defense attorneys wanted their clients to have separate jury trials, but Pokorny has sided with District Attorney Charles Branson’s request to try them as a group.