Trial delayed in teen murder case while defense waits on gunshot residue report

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Derrick Del Reed is pictured at a pretrial hearing in Douglas County District Court on Nov. 9, 2023. Reed is charged with murder in the shooting death of 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw outside of Reed's home on March 18, 2023.

A trial set for later this month for a Lawrence teen accused of fatally shooting another teen was delayed Thursday until next spring after the defense said it was waiting on an expert gunshot residue report.

The accused, Derrick Del Reed, 18, of Lawrence, has been charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Kamarjay Shaw, 14, of Lawrence, on March 18 in the 1300 block of Maple Lane, as the Journal-World reported.

Reed’s trial was scheduled for Nov. 27, but his attorney, Mark Hartman, requested a delay until a full analysis could be done on gunshot residue allegedly found on Reed after the shooting.

Judge Sally Pokorny granted the continuance and reset the trial for March 4, 2024. Reed is currently being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

In recent filings, Hartman has asked the court to allow him to present evidence at trial of Shaw’s past felony charges, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault using a firearm, and a picture of Shaw from an Instagram profile that shows Shaw pointing a gun at the camera. Hartman argues that Reed’s previous knowledge of Shaw’s gun-related activity would show Reed’s state of mind the day of the shooting. Hartman has also asked the court to dismiss the case after the state declined to grant immunity to multiple witnesses who were present at the time of the shooting, as the Journal-World reported.

The state has responded to those motions with Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum writing that Shaw’s felony charges occurred two years prior to the shooting and that Shaw was never convicted. She wrote that admitting Shaw’s past charges as evidence would be “irrelevant, immaterial, and prejudicial” and “seeks to portray the victim in a poor light.” Since Shaw was never convicted of those charges, evidence of any alleged bad act should be inadmissible, Tatum wrote.

Tatum writes that Shaw’s charges as well as the Instagram photo should both be inadmissible because no evidence was presented at Reed’s immunity hearing or at his preliminary hearing that suggested Reed considered Shaw’s charges or the picture prior to shooting Shaw.

Tatum responded to the motion to dismiss by writing that the six people charged with obstruction in the case have all had probable cause found in each case and the state is not preventing the defense from working with those witnesses’ attorneys to make an informed decision about their testimony.

Pokorny said she would rule on pretrial motions in February ahead of the March trial.


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