Douglas County jury acquits man who was charged with trying to kill ex-girlfriend’s new partner

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Steven Carl Drake II

A Douglas County jury on Thursday returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of a Lawrence man who was accused of trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend’s new partner.

Steven Carl Drake, 48, was ordered in January to stand trial on a charge of attempted first-degree murder. He was accused of firing multiple rounds at a vehicle on Sept. 28, 2022, in the 3500 block of West 24th Street. As the Journal-World reported, the man driving the vehicle and Drake’s ex-girlfriend told police that Drake had threatened them multiple times.

Drake’s defense attorney had argued that there wasn’t enough evidence that Drake committed the crime, and the jury on Thursday, after deliberating for around four hours, apparently agreed.

Drake has a history of felony convictions in Douglas County and Jefferson County. In Douglas County, he’s been convicted of fleeing and eluding law enforcement, endangering a child and theft, and in Jefferson County, he has felony convictions for forgery, obstruction and aggravated interference of parental custody, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

Drake is not to be confused with his son, Steven Austin Drake III, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2022 for the 2017 shooting death of 26-year-old Bryce Holladay and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.


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