Douglas County judge seals arrest affidavit for man accused of killing 2 people, shooting at officers

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Rodney Ericson Marshall

A judge sealed an arrest affidavit on Monday for a man who’s accused of killing two people, leading police on a car chase through Lawrence and onto Kansas Highway 10 and shooting at law enforcement officers last month.

Rodney Ericson Marshall, 51, of Lawrence is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, five counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer and one count of attempted murder of a civilian, according to charging documents. Seven of these charges are off-grid felonies and could result in a life sentence if Marshall were convicted.

An arrest affidavit details the probable cause that law enforcement officers have for arresting a suspect. The affidavit in this case has not been released to the public; instead, Marshall’s defense attorney, Carol Cline, and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office both filed motions to seal it, and Judge Amy Hanley granted their request on Monday.

Hanley’s order said the court would reconsider releasing the affidavit after Marshall’s preliminary hearing in the case, which has not been scheduled. Marshall’s next scheduled court appearance will be on Sept. 14 for a status update in the case.

If the affidavit were released, it would provide more details about the events leading up to Marshall’s arrest on July 31.

According to a news release from Lawrence police, officers first responded to reports of gunfire at around 1 a.m. July 31 in the 1100 block of Tennessee Street and discovered a man who had been shot and was critically wounded. The man was transported to a Kansas City-area trauma center where he was pronounced dead, the release said.

Soon after the shooting on Tennessee Street was reported, police responded to another report of gunfire, this time in the 300 block of Northwood Lane, which is just east of McDonald Drive in the area near the Kansas Turnpike, according to the release. They found a man who had been fatally shot.

Charging documents filed in Douglas County District Court identified the two people who were killed as William D. O’Brien, 43, of Lawrence, and Shelby McCoy, 52, of Lawrence.

The release said investigators identified Marshall as a suspect, located his vehicle and attempted to stop it at about 6 a.m. in the 900 block of Lawrence Avenue. However, the release said the suspect fled, leading officers on a chase through the city and onto eastbound K-10. According to the release, the suspect fired several times at law enforcement officers while on K-10, but a Eudora police officer was able to disable the vehicle with a spike strip, and the suspect was taken into custody outside Eudora.

During a Lawrence City Commission meeting on Aug. 2, Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart told city commissioners that he was impressed with how officers handled the arrest. He said they kept their distance from the car after it was disabled and instead used a drone to survey the scene.

“These officers are getting shot at for a long time by this guy. The Kansas highway patrolman has a bullet lodged in his radiator that was found when they serviced the car,” Lockhart said. “There was no reason for us to be up on top of him while he was shooting at us. You didn’t see what you do on TV where a bunch of officers run up on the car. At the end of the day, we came home safe … and everything came out the way it should.”

Marshall has multiple felony convictions in Clay County, including convictions for aggravated assault, drug possession, and criminal threat intending to terrorize, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records. He is currently being held in the Douglas County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.

1115 11th street. At 12:45 pm on Sunday July 31, 2022.

The road is closed at Fourth Street and Northwood Lane while forensic investigators work the scene of a homicide at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, 2022.


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