Judge clears courtroom after disturbances, outbursts in teen’s self-defense hearing

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Law enforcement deals with the crowd outside the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center in downtown Lawrence after a disturbance during a hearing in the murder case of Derrick Del Reed, who is accused of killing Kamarjay Demont Shaw.

This story was updated at 11:07 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2023.

A judge cleared a Douglas County courtroom Friday morning following repeated disturbances in the gallery during a hearing for a Lawrence teen who is accused of killing another Lawrence teen. The courthouse itself was temporarily locked down as the crowd spilled out of the building and loud disturbances and fighting continued outside, with some leading to arrests.

The self-defense hearing for 17-year-old Derrick Del Reed, who has been charged with murdering 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw, was derailed when Shaw’s father identified alleged witnesses in the courtroom and accused one of them of being the shooter.

Reed has been charged with one felony count of first-degree murder. He is alleged to have shot Shaw in the 1300 block of Maple Lane sometime before 5 p.m. on March 18, as the Journal-World reported. Reed has maintained the shooting was in self-defense.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

A man is taken into custody Friday, June 2, 2023, outside the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center after a disturbance in a courtroom during a hearing in the murder case of Derrick Del Reed, who is accused of killing Kamarjay Demont Shaw.

The self-defense/immunity hearing was set for 9 a.m., and the courtroom was filled with people wearing red shirts with pictures of Kamarjay on them. A sheriff’s deputy admonished both sides of the courtroom to be orderly, even before the judge took the bench.

Just before the hearing began, Latouche Shaw, Kamarjay’s father, pointed out people in the courtroom as witnesses to Kamarjay’s shooting and said that one of them may even have been the real shooter.

“They got three people involved in the killing of my son right there,” Shaw said, pointing at a man and two teenage girls in the room.

Shaw said that when he arrived in court three of his people were removed from the courtroom as witnesses. Deputies were able to quiet him briefly, and Judge Sally Pokorny attempted to begin the proceedings, but supporters of Shaw, who is Black, erupted in cries of racial injustice.

“We have a child that is dead. We have a child that is in custody. All parties here have an interest in justice,” Pokorny said in an attempt to restore order.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Judge Sally Pokorny, on June 2, 2023, in Douglas County District Court during a self defense hearing for Derrick Del Reed, 17, who is charged in Douglas County District Court with murdering 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw. Pokorny closed the hearing after multiple outbursts from the gallery.

Pokorny then asked the courtroom to be cleared and all cellphones removed after many people in the crowd were filming the proceedings, which is against court rules.

While the court was in recess, Shaw continued to ask court security to remove the man he pointed at as being involved in the shooting.

The crowds returned without their phones around 9:45 a.m., but Pokorny returned to the courtroom and announced that the hearing would be closed, would be broadcast on Youtube and that everyone should leave.

The crowd poured onto the lawn of the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, and people started screaming and fighting with one another. Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the crowds, and Lawrence police shortly joined them thereafter.

Police arrested several people in the incident.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

A man is taken into custody Friday, June 2, 2023, outside the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center after a disturbance in a courtroom during a hearing in the murder case of Derrick Del Reed, who is accused of killing Kamarjay Demont Shaw.

When the hearing finally got underway the state, represented by Chief District Attorney Jennifer Tatum and Assistant District Attorney Ricardo Leal, called a neighbor who lives in the 1300 block of Maple Lane and recorded part of the incident on her ring doorbell.

The woman testified that she could see from her doorbell cameral a group of teenagers outside of her residence with metal poles. She said the teenagers were yelling “harsh names” at someone before one of them threw a pole at a nearby car and the group started walking away. She said as the teens were leaving she heard gunshots and called 911.

The state played a copy of the woman’s video of the incident. In the video a group of teens including Shaw can be seen on the sidewalk pointing and some jumping up and down before walking away and a few seconds later they were running. A few seconds after the teens were running by the camera, two vehicles sped past.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum, left, during an immunity hearing for 17-year-old Derrick Del Reed on June 2, 2023. Reed is charged in the shooting death of 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw on March 18, 2023. Judge Sally Pokorny, right, can be seen in the background.

Witness 2

The state next called a 14-year-old boy who was a part of the group with Shaw when he was shot. The teen said that he was with Shaw most of that day and that he, Shaw and five other friends were hanging out sometime before 5 p.m. at the Maple Lane Apartments, 1121, E 13th St., less than a block away from where Shaw was shot. Two of the seven were girls.

He said they received a call on social media from a girl inviting them to come down the block to have a fight with Reed and possibly other teens. The teen said they picked up some poles at the Maple Lane Apartments just in case Reed and his friends were preparing to ambush them.

Tatum asked the boy if he or anyone in the group was carrying a firearm. The teenager said no because “if we did there wouldn’t be no talking,” the boy said.

The boy said they went to Reed’s house at 1318 Maple Lane and tried to get Reed and his friends to come outside but Reed insisted the group meet them in Reed’s backyard. The boy said they declined to go into the backyard to fight because they suspected Reed had something planned.

The boy said they taunted Reed but Reed refused to come out and fight and the boy said in frustration he threw his metal pipe down and it may have bounced into Reed’s car and Shaw’s group then started walking away. He said that when he heard gunfire they all started running. He said he heard 6-8 shots.

He said he didn’t know Shaw was shot until they made it back to the Maple Lane Apartments nearby. He said he and the other teens tried to stop the bleeding, and someone called 911.

On cross examination Reed’s defense attorney, Mark Hartman, asked what the boy meant about “there wouldn’t be no talking” if Shaw’s group had been armed.

“There wouldn’t have been no talking,” the boy repeated,” I would have been blasting.”

Hartman then questioned the boy about another incident that happened earlier in the day between Reed and some people in Shaw’s group near Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2727 Iowa Street.

The boy said that he and three others from the group, not including Shaw, had encountered Reed and others at the bus stop near Dick’s earlier that afternoon. He said Reed’s group was yelling at them and looking to start a fight. He said someone in his group had a machete and they chased Reed’s group away.

Witness 3

The state then called a 17-year-old boy who said he was friends with Shaw since Shaw was in kindergarten. He said he was with Shaw and others at the apartment when the phone call came from a girl who was one of Reed’s friends. He said she specifically said that Reed wanted to fight Shaw and another of the boys at the apartment.

“KJ (Shaw) is a hot head who wouldn’t let it stand that someone wanted to fight,” the boy said.

He said they followed Shaw to back him up. He said that he grabbed a pole and went with the group to confront Reed. He said Reed wouldn’t come out of his house to fight Shaw. He said that he wanted Shaw and Reed to fight so it would end the dispute between them.

“A simple and fair fight, why not,” the boy said.

He said if the two didn’t fight then the problem between Reed and Shaw would just get worse.

The boy said that since Reed wouldn’t come out, Shaw’s group decided to leave and that’s when he saw Reed go inside the house and come back out into the yard with a handgun.

The boy testified that he wears glasses but didn’t have them that day but he was sure that it was Reed holding a handgun and when he saw Reed he turned to run. He said he heard 2-3 shots.

“I felt like it was aimed directly at me,” the boy testified.

He said he heard gunshots and moments later two cars sped past him. He said when they got back to the nearby apartment he saw Shaw on the couch bleeding. He said someone called 911 and another person called Shaw’s mother.

The boy testified he was also a part of the incident at the bus stop near Dick’s and he and some of them also had an interaction with the girl who had invited Shaw to fight Reed near the library downtown. He said that their group did not have a machete during the Dick’s incident. He said the incident at the library was just a group of girls calling them names as they drove by, one of them being the girl who called Shaw before the shooting and another was Shaw’s ex-girlfriend.

Witness 4

The state then called another 14 year-old who said he was Shaw’s cousin. He said he had been hanging out with Shaw all day and testified about the phone call inviting them to fight Reed. He said as Shaw’s group was running away, he noticed Shaw had been hit and helped him into the apartment.

“He was shot in his back. There wasn’t a lot of blood, so I didn’t think it was bad,” The boy said.

He said he was the one who called Shaw’s mother. He said he heard 2-3 shots.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Assistant District Attorney Ricardo Leal, left, questions a witness, while Chief Assitant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum, center, and Judge Sally Pokorny, right, listen to the testimony on June 2, 2023, during a self defense hearing for Derrick Del Reed, 17, who is charged in Douglas County District Court in the shooting death of Kamarjay Shaw.

Witness 5

The state called Detective Kimberlee Nicholson who said she was the lead detective on the case. She said she and other officers collected video from several neighbors and worked to sync the videos together and to estimate the distance between where police found shell casings at Reed’s house and where Shaw and his friends were when the gunshots happened.

She said one of the teens was as close as 90 feet when the shots were fired but Shaw was about 190 feet from Reed’s front door and it was another 60 feet or so from where Shaw was to the Maple Lane Apartments.

Nicholson said police recovered two shell casings on Reed’s porch at 1318 Maple Lane.

She said police later recovered the gun hidden under a bush near the intersection of 12th Street and Laura Avenue after Reed’s attorney gave police a GPS location to search.

After Nicholson testified, the state rested their case.

Hartman, Reed’s defense attorney, then called three witnesses.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Defense attorney Mark Hartman, center, during an immunity hearing for his client, 17-year-old Derrick Del Reed, on June 2, 2023. Reed is charged with murdering 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw on March 18, 2023.

Witness 6

Hartman called another neighbor who testified that she could hear and see the altercation outside of her windows on Maple Lane. She testified that she saw someone near Reed’s house with a handgun. She said she was familiar with Reed and that it was not him who she saw holding a gun. She did not see the shooting but called 911 when she heard gunshots.

Witness 7

Hartman then called a teenage girl to the stand but before she could testify Pokorny said the girl was under investigation for obstruction in connection with the shooting. She asked if the girl wanted a lawyer to represent her before she testified in case she was asked to testify about anything that might lead to a criminal charge. The girl said yes and her dad in the gallery said they would hire an attorney on their own.

Witness 8

Hartman last called a man who witnessed the incident at Dick’s Sporting Goods and called 911. The man described a group of teens with a machete threatening another group of teens. He said he called the police and waited for them to arrive but that he did not give a statement to police that day.

After testimony Pokorny said that the rest of the hearing would be postponed until Hartman’s teenage girl witness could get a lawyer. Pokorny said the hearing would resume on July 10.

The July date had already been scheduled for the state to argue a motion for Reed to be tried as an adult. Reed remains in custody of Douglas County Youth Services.

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.

More coverage: Derrick Del Reed case

April 20, 2023: Stand-your-ground hearing delayed for Lawrence teen charged with killing 14-year-old boy

April 12, 2023: Douglas County judge orders prosecutors to hand over police video interviews in fatal teen shooting case; state says it has provided what is required and more

April 3, 2023: Arrest affidavit sealed in case of 17-year-old accused of murdering 14-year-old Lawrence boy

March 23, 2023: Police have increased presence at Lawrence High School following weekend homicide that involved two former students

March 21, 2023: Lawrence 17-year-old plans to argue self-defense in 14-year-old’s fatal shooting, attorney says

March 20, 2023: Teen charged with first-degree murder in death of 14-year-old; family starts fundraiser for funeral-expenses

March 19, 2023: Local teen is dead after Saturday shooting in eastern Lawrence; police looking for 17-year-old presumed armed and dangerous


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