Judge orders hearing for Lawrence teen accused of killing another teen to be open to the public but with restrictions

photo by: Images courtesy of the Lawrence Police Department

Images police released of Derrick Del Reed and the Chrysler 300 he was driving while police searched for him after the shooting of Kamarjay Shaw, 14, on March 18, 2023.

A Douglas County judge will allow the public to attend in person a hearing for a Lawrence teen accused of killing a 14-year-old boy, but several restrictions will be in place to prevent the kind of courtroom disruptions that occurred earlier in the case.

Derrick Del Reed, 18, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Kamarjay Shaw on March 18, 2023, in the 1300 block of Maple Lane.

Reed was 17 at the time of the shooting but was ordered to stand trial as an adult by Judge Sally Pokorny shortly before his 18th birthday in July. Pokorny had previously denied Reed’s motion for immunity from prosecution in which he claimed that he acted in self-defense, as the Journal-World reported.

The public was previously restricted from attending hearings in person after a scene of what Lt. Chris Johnston, head of court security, called “chaos” at Reed’s immunity hearing on June 6. At that hearing, the courtroom was filled with supporters of Reed and of the victim’s family. Shaw’s father, LaTouche Shaw, repeatedly interrupted the court claiming racial bias against the victim, who is Black. LaTouche also claimed that there were multiple witnesses to the shooting who were in the courtroom and that court security would not remove them.

The courtroom was cleared and court security spent part of the morning trying to control the unruly crowd before the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center had to be temporarily locked down for safety concerns.

Pokorny proposed a plan on Wednesday that the public be allowed to attend in person for Reed’s preliminary hearing on Monday. She said that the courtroom would be opened at 8 a.m. for the hearing, which starts at 9 a.m., and that when the seats were full the courtroom would be closed. Attendees will be required to go through two security checkpoints where they will be instructed that they may not bring in any cellphones, food or drinks, and anyone who violates the rules will be ejected from the proceedings, Pokorny said.

In addition to no cellphones, attendees will be required to be silent during the proceedings, and any violators will also be ejected, Pokorny said. Attendees will also not be permitted to leave the hearing and then return to the courtroom.

Pokorny said that if the proceedings are repeatedly interrupted and she has to eject as few as three people, the in-person part of the hearing will be canceled and the hearing will revert to the YouTube-only format.

“I hope the public will just trust the process,” Pokorny said.

Both the prosecution and Reed’s defense attorney, Mark Hartman, agreed to Pokorny’s plan, as did Johnston with court security.

After the plan was agreed upon, Hartman said that at the preliminary hearing he would be requesting to split the proceedings up because he plans to call LaTouche Shaw as a witness based on some of the information he has received from the state about the case. Hartman said that he has contacted LaTouche but LaTouche informed Hartman that he would be out of town at the time of the hearing.

Hartman said he does have two witnesses ready to testify at the hearing. Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum said that she has three witnesses prepared and she said she hoped to be finished by lunchtime.

Tatum also asked Pokorny to grant a motion the state has filed to compel a witness to testify. Tatum said the state has subpoenaed the person twice and both times that person did not comply with the subpoena and the state would like Pokorny to issue a warrant to arrest the witness to ensure attendance at Monday’s hearing.

In the state’s motion to compel that witness, Tatum wrote that Reed and the witness exchanged text messages prior to the shooting wherein Reed messaged the witness that he was about “to start shooting” in reference to Kamarjay Shaw and his group of friends.

Reed is currently in custody at the Douglas County Jail and is being held on a $500,000 cash or surety bond. The preliminary hearing is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and will also be live on YouTube.


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