Trial date set for defendant accused of murdering 2 Lawrence men

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Rodney E. Marshall is pictured Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at a hearing in Douglas County District Court.

A January 2025 trial date was set on Thursday for a man charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two Lawrence men nearly two years ago.

The defendant, Rodney E. Marshall, 52, was charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of first-degree murder, five counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, one count of attempted murder of a civilian and one count of fleeing from police, all felonies, according to charging documents. The majority of the charges against Marshall could mean a life sentence if he is convicted.

On July 31, 2022, Marshall is alleged to have shot Shelby McCoy, 52, at 1115 Tennessee St. before driving across town on a moped to shoot William D. O’Brien, 43, at 325 Northwood Lane. After the shootings, police staked out Marshall’s residence in central Lawrence, and as he tried to leave the home, he led police on a chase while allegedly firing a pistol out of his window. The chase ended on Kansas Highway 10 near Eudora, as the Journal-World reported.

Marshall waived his speedy trial rights in February and he indicated at that time that he possibly wanted to negotiate a plea agreement.

One of Marshall’s attorneys, Matthew Cohen, said Thursday that they had yet to meet with the district attorney’s mediator to discuss the case but would do so at the end of April. The state, represented by Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald, said that the state had already met with the mediator and was just waiting for the defense to complete its part in the process. In the event that negotiations don’t result in a plea, the parties asked the court to set a date for a two-week trial.

Judge Amy Hanley scheduled the trial for Jan. 6, 2025. Marshall is currently being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.


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