Hearings set to decide whether teens charged in Holcom Park shootings will be tried as adults
photo by: Sara Shepherd
A Douglas County District Court judge will decide this fall whether two teens charged in a double shooting should be tried as adults.
On Friday, Judge Peggy Kittel scheduled a preliminary hearing for the case at 9 a.m. Sept. 30 for Benson J. Edwards Jr., 17, and Sahavione K. Caraway, 17, both of Topeka. After the preliminary hearing, the two defendants will appear in separate hearings for the court to decide whether they will be tried as adults. Kittel scheduled Edwards’ hearing for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 1 and Caraway’s hearing for 9 a.m. Oct. 11.
Prosecutors filed a motion on July 10 to try the two as adults. Assistant District Attorney Bryant Barton wrote in his motions that he would present evidence of the offenses alleged in the complaints and ask the judge to bind over the juveniles for trial.
In the meantime, Juvenile Court Judge Bethany Roberts has ordered both teens to remain in custody.
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 are both 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 in the incident, the complaint alleges. Edwards also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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.
According to a fundraising page for their medical expenses, shooting victims Ulises Rojo and younger brother Daniel Rojo, both Lawrence High School students, are “recovering well.”
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