2 teens charged in Holcom Park double shooting to be tried as adults

photo by: Sara Shepherd

Lawrence police investigate at the scene of a double shooting on Friday, March 29, 2019, at Holcom Park, in the parking lot at 26th Street and Lawrence Avenue.

Two Topeka teenagers charged with attempted first-degree murder stemming from a double shooting at a Lawrence park will be tried as adults.

Chief Judge Peggy Kittel ruled Tuesday in Douglas County District Court that based on the evidence in their cases, Benson J. Edwards Jr., 18, and Sahavione K. Caraway, 17, should be tried as adults. Although Edwards is now an adult, he and Caraway were both minors at the time of the incident. Caraway will turn 18 in January.

Kittel said she would produce a written ruling outlining her reasoning for the decision. The ruling was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon. In October, prosecutors argued that the crimes Edwards and Caraway are accused of are severe enough to authorize the state to try them as adults.

After Kittel announced the ruling, she set both Edwards’ and Caraway’s bonds at $250,000. They are expected back in court 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7 for their first appearance in court as adults. Kittel, who was set to retire from her position at the end of the day, said she did not know who would preside over the case in the future.

Sahavione K. Caraway

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Benson J. Edwards Jr., pictured in December 2019

The shootings were reported just before 4 p.m. March 29 at Holcom Park, located at 27th Street and Lawrence Avenue in southwest Lawrence.

Two brothers, 18 and 16, were seriously injured.

Edwards and Caraway each are charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting both brothers multiple times, plus two counts of aggravated robbery for allegedly stealing vaping cartridges and an iPhone from the victims, according to charging documents.

Edwards used a .32-caliber Tanfoglio Giuseppe handgun to commit the crimes, the complaint alleges. Edwards also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Edwards has a criminal history in Douglas County as a juvenile, including a felony conviction for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He previously lived in Lawrence, documents from his Douglas County District Court cases indicate.

Caraway allegedly used a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, according to the complaint against him. That’s an assault-style rifle, according to features and photos of the model on the Smith & Wesson website.

Related coverage

Dec. 22, 2019: One of 2 teens charged in Lawrence double shooting booked into adult jail on 18th birthday

Oct. 1, 2019: Judge to rule later this month whether teens charged in Holcom Park shootings will be tried as adults

July 19, 2019: Hearings set to decide whether teens charged in Holcom Park shootings will be tried as adults

July 11, 2019: Prosecutors want teens tried as adults in Holcom Park double shooting case

May 17, 2019: Two teen suspects in Lawrence double shooting remain detained as court proceedings delayed

April 2, 2019: Topeka teens charged with attempted first-degree murder in shooting of 2 Lawrence brothers

April 1, 2019: DA considering charges in suspected robbery, shooting of LHS students

March 30, 2019: Lawrence police arrest 2 Topeka boys in shooting of teens at Holcom Park

March 29, 2019: 2 teens seriously injured in shooting at Lawrence’s Holcom Park; 2 people detained

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