Topeka suspects in Lawrence killings appear in court

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) — The three Topeka men accused of killing three people in the streets downtown Lawrence returned to a Douglas Co. courtroom Thursday.

(Nick Krug/LJ World)

Dominique McMillon, Ahmed Rayton, and Anthony Roberts are all charged in an Oct. 1 shooting near 11th and Massachusetts Streets in which two Topeka men and a Shawee woman were killed.

Accompanied by their attorneys, the three suspects appeared in court for a joint preliminary hearing. Douglas Co. District Attorney Charles Branson planned to call several witnesses to discuss their recollections from that night.

Several in the room said some of the information was difficult to listen to. Erica Rodriguez whose son was best friends with a victim of the shooting, did not have much to say about Thursday's testimony.

"I believe it's very interesting. The stories and allegations that are being made today."

District Attorney Branson started by bringing the investigating officer and a friend of the suspects to the stand. The friend, who said he was with the suspects at the time, said they were all in Lawrence for a night of fun. He testified they were sitting at the corner of 11th and Mass. when another group of men, who also hailed from Topeka, approached them.

A fight broke out and then the witness says he heard gunshots. The witness then told the court he and the suspects ran back to their vehicle and drove off. They were pulled over on their way back to Topeka.

However another male witness testified that his group of friends were approached by the three suspects. He claims Anthony Roberts Jr. showed a gun and began threatening him and his friends.

The investigating officer testified that he believes two people were shooting that night.

He said two kinds of bullets were found on ground at the crime scene, and belonged to a 9 mm and .40 caliber.

A victim of the shooting, Tahzay Rayton also testified. He was a witness to the shooting before getting shot in the back and leg. Rayton also describes trying to protect his cousin Tre'Mel Dean Rayton who did not survive the shooting.

According to the Lawrence Journal World the last witness was a Lawrence Police officer who said he has dash cam footage that shows the shooting including the two shooters.

A second day is scheduled for January 19. After all court testimony Judge Sally Porkorny will have decided if there is enough reasonable cause to bind the men over for a trial.