Jury acquits man of attempted first-degree murder in New Year’s Day Outhouse shooting
photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World
A Douglas County jury on Friday found a man not guilty of attempted first-degree murder in a New Year’s Day shooting at a rural nightclub.
The man, Daequan Jermaine Rayton, 24, of Topeka, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault in connection with the Jan. 1 shooting at The Outhouse, 1837 North 1500 Road. He was acquitted on both charges Friday. The shooting, which injured another man at the club, was reportedly the culmination of an altercation between that man and Rayton, as the Journal-World has reported.
Rayton’s trial began on Monday and went to the jury late Thursday afternoon. Jurors returned a not-guilty verdict by 10:30 Friday morning.
Rayton took the stand at his trial and testified that he shot the other man, Justin Vincent, in self-defense after he was punched in the face and saw Vincent holding a handgun.
“I stumbled back and I saw he had a gun. I shot him in self-defense. I shot twice,” Rayton said at his trial.
His defense attorney, Nicholas David, asked him if he intended to kill Vincent and if he had more ammunition in his gun. Rayton said he had more bullets but didn’t want to shoot anyone in the back.
“No, I wanted to get away. After I shot him, he turned around and ran,” Rayton said.
Rayton said he had not told his story about that night to police prior to the trial because he was worried the police would “twist his words” and that it wouldn’t matter what he said.
Police did not recover a gun from Vincent’s vehicle or from his person the night of the incident, but Vincent testified that he regularly carried a handgun for protection, although he wasn’t carrying one that night. Vincent said if he had been carrying a gun, he would have shot back.
Assistant District Attorney Paula Bustamante and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald prosecuted the case, and Judge Stacey Donovan presided.
Despite the acquittal, Rayton is still being held in the Douglas County Jail in connection with an August 2021 incident at the now-closed Allstars strip club in North Lawrence. In that case, he faces one felony count of aggravated battery for allegedly beating a man.
Rayton is currently being held on a $50,000 bond for the aggravated battery charge, which Donovan is considering lowering, per a motion from defense counsel.