Lawrence teen ordered to stand trial on first-degree murder charge in 14-year-old’s shooting death

Derrick Del Reed at his preliminary hearing in Douglas County District Court on Aug. 14, 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 Lawrence teenager was ordered on Friday to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy, and a trial date has been set for November.

At a hearing Friday in Douglas County District Court, Judge Sally Pokorny said there was sufficient evidence for Derrick Del Reed, 18, to stand trial for first-degree murder in the death of 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw. Pokorny rejected an argument by Reed’s attorney, Mark Hartman, that Reed should only be bound over on a charge of reckless second-degree murder, and she scheduled a trial for the week of Nov. 27.

The shooting took place at around 5 p.m. on March 18 in the 1300 block of Maple Lane. As the Journal-World reported, multiple witnesses testified at an earlier hearing that the shooting happened during an altercation between Reed and a group of other teenagers. One witness, a 17-year-old boy, testified on June 2 that the group he was with was trying to get Reed to come out of his house and fight them, and that he saw Reed come out of his house with a handgun and fire multiple shots. Another teenage boy in the group testified that the shooting happened while the group was walking or running away, and Shaw’s cousin testified that Shaw was shot in the back.

Friday’s hearing was the second half of the preliminary hearing for Reed, which began on Aug. 14. The hearing on Friday was shorter than expected because one of the witnesses Hartman had planned to call — Shaw’s father, LaTouche Shaw — couldn’t be located. Previously in the case, Pokorny had denied Reed’s motion for immunity from prosecution, in which Reed claimed that he acted in self-defense.

In her arguments on Friday, Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum pointed to tests done days after the shooting that showed gunshot residue on Reed’s hand and on the steering wheel of his car. She also pointed to the messages Reed sent to his friends the morning of the shooting. As the Journal-World reported, Reed repeatedly used the N-word in those messages and said that he was saving to buy a gun and that he was tired of fighting with Shaw and his friends and was ready to start shooting.

Those Snapchat messages, which were sent around 8:45 a.m. the day of the shooting, were shown by Detective Kimberlee Nicholson at the first part of the hearing on Aug. 14: “I’m gonna let them try some funny (expletive) … Them (N-word) are dead fr(for real)” and “I see a whole lotta dead (N-word).” On Friday, Tatum argued that those messages showed that the shooting was premeditated and was not a decision made in the heat of the moment.

Tatum also alleged that Reed immediately got into his car and sped away after the shooting, and that there was evidence that Reed and other people may have discussed hiding the gun and his clothing, although she didn’t specify what that evidence was.

Hartman, meanwhile, said that only one witness claimed to have seen Reed with a gun that day and that the witness’s story changed between his first statements to police and when he testified. Hartman also said another witness told police that she saw a light-skinned African American man with a gun that day just before she heard the shots fired.

In her decision to order Reed to stand trial, Pokorny cited the gunshot residue that was found, as well as the fact that Reed is alleged to have fired “not once, but twice” into a group of people who were running away. She said that would suggest that the shooting was intentional and more than just a reckless act.

Hartman had also asked for Reed’s bond amount to be lowered from $500,000 to $200,000, but Pokorny rejected that as well.

Reed is currently in custody at the Douglas County Jail.


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