Judge accepts apology and does not punish teen who posted screenshot during murder case

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Judge Sally Pokorny is pictured at a hearing on March 6, 2024, in Douglas County District Court.

A judge did not punish a 15-year-old boy on Thursday after he admitted to posting a screenshot from YouTube of a court proceeding in a murder case.

The murder case was that of Derrick Del Reed, 18, of Lawrence, who was charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Kamarjay Shaw on March 18, 2023. Reed was acquitted by a Douglas County jury in March, as the Journal-World reported.

The 15-year-old boy appeared in court accompanied by his mother.

The boy, then 14, was at the scene of the shooting. He took a screenshot of Reed’s July 7, 2023, immunity hearing and posted it on social media with the phrases “free this (N-word) or dope this (N-word)” and “funeral OTW (on the way).” A voice-over on the image called Reed a “false flagging ass (N-word)” and said “if I had only killed you,” as the Journal-World reported.

Local court rules prohibit recording court proceedings or making screenshots from streaming video.

On Thursday the boy’s attorney, Sam Allison-Natale, said that the boy acknowledged having posted the screenshot and asked the court not to impose any further sanctions. He said that the contempt process has been enough to teach the boy a lesson that what he did was wrong. He said that the trauma of losing a friend had put the boy in a highly emotional state and that he was diagnosed with PTSD after the shooting.

The boy’s mother spoke briefly and said that the boy’s mental health has only worsened after Reed was acquitted and that no one else has been charged in the case.

The boy then apologized to the court for posting the screenshot.

Judge Sally Pokorny accepted the boy’s apology and said that Shaw’s death was a tragedy felt by the entire community and that she hopes that the boy realizes now that his reaction was inappropriate.

“Yes ma’am,” the boy said.


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