Teen facing contempt and possibly felony criminal threat charges after allegedly posting recording of court proceeding online in murder case

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center is pictured in May of 2023. The center houses the Douglas County District Court and other county services.

A 15-year-old boy who was at the scene of a shooting where a 14-year-old was killed appeared in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday to face a charge of contempt for allegedly recording court hearings. He may face a felony count of criminal threat, as well.

The contempt charge relates to the case of Derrick Del Reed, 18, of Lawrence, who is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 14-year-old Kamarjay Shaw on March 18 in the 1800 block of Maple Lane.

The 15-year-old boy appeared in Judge Sally Pokorny’s courtroom accompanied by his mother.

Pokorny said that the boy was facing a contempt charge in connection with two posts on Snapchat and may face a felony criminal threat charge. One post was a picture of Reed, and another was a video of Reed from Reed’s July 7 self-defense immunity hearing, she said.

The July 7 hearing was chaotic after supporters of Reed and Shaw disrupted court proceedings, forcing the entire courthouse into lockdown, as the Journal-World reported.

Lawrence police officer Skyler Richardson testified Wednesday via Zoom that Reed’s attorney, Mark Hartman, drew the social media posts to the court’s attention. Richardson said he issued a warrant for Snapchat records and Midco records and was able to track the Snapchat account and the posts to an Internet Protocol address associated with the boy’s home address.

Pokorny said that the photo that the boy allegedly posted was accompanied with the phrases “free this (N-word) or dope this (N-word)” and “funeral OTW (on the way),” and the video that was posted had a voiceover calling Reed a “false flagging ass (N-word)” and saying “if I had only killed you.”

Pokorny said the posts showed that the boy may have recorded the court proceedings, which is against court rules, and that the post may rise to the level of felony criminal threat. She asked the boy if the Snapchat account belonged to him, to which the boy replied that he didn’t know for sure because he has many Snapchat accounts.

Pokorny asked the boy to list all of his account names, in response to which the boy stood silent. She then informed the boy that by not answering her questions, he could face an additional charge of contempt and that it could result in incarceration.

Pokorny then asked if the boy had an attorney representing him on any other matters. She said she believed he had one pending case in juvenile court.

The boy’s mother said that she wasn’t sure about the charge in juvenile court because the boy’s attorney, Kate Butler, was only recently appointed and had not made contact with the family.

Pokorny said that Butler had taken a new job and would no longer be a Board of Indigents’ Defense attorney. Pokorny then appointed Sam Allison-Natale to represent the boy on the pending contempt and criminal threat charges. She scheduled a review hearing for the boy on Oct. 5.

According to court records, the boy is charged in juvenile court with one misdemeanor count of battery for an incident on Feb. 22 in the 4700 block of Overland Drive, which is the block that Free State High School is on, and one misdemeanor count of criminal damage in connection with an incident near the intersection of Ninth and Michigan streets on July 16, 2022. He is scheduled to appear in court on those charges Wednesday afternoon. He is not a student at Free State, according to the Lawrence school district’s spokeswoman.

The boy testified at Reed’s July 7 immunity hearing that he was with Shaw all day before the shooting and that he was one of the boys who was called to Reed’s house for a fight. He told the court that he picked up a pole on his way to Reed’s house and was waving it at Reed, and when it was clear Reed would not meet the boys in the street for a fight, the boy threw his metal pole at Reed’s car, and Shaw’s group walked away.

As Shaw’s group was leaving, Reed is alleged to have retrieved a gun from inside his home and fired two shots at the boys who began running. One of the bullets hit Shaw in the back from nearly 200 feet away, as the Journal-World reported.

Hartman asked the boy that day if he or any of the other boys had a gun and was threatening Reed. The boy said they were not armed and that the incident would have ended differently if they were.

“There wouldn’t have been no talking,” the boy testified. “I would have been blasting them hos, respectfully.”

Reed is currently in custody at the Douglas County Jail and is being held on a $500,000 bond. His trial is scheduled on Nov. 27.


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