Jurors acquit man in shooting of southeast Topeka woman

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Jurors acquitted a 28-year-old man Thursday in the shooting of a woman, who suffered multiple wounds inside her southeast Topeka home in 2018.

The jury began deliberating late Thursday morning and by 1 p.m. had found Rahnel E. Rayford not guilty of attempted first-degree murder.

Melody Ann Ramirez was shot in the chest, an arm and the legs.

On Tuesday, jurors saw Topeka police and emergency medical treatment technicians try to stop the bleeding of Ramirez shortly after she was shot in her living room on April 19, 2018. She was shot at 2:07 a.m.

Police recovered seven shell casings from the Ramirez kitchen

"Help me! Help me! I need air," Ramirez said over and over as she was lying on the floor.

During the trial, jurors viewed police videos of the seriously wounded Ramirez, who was bleeding heavily, calling for help, then being carried on a stretcher from her home.

Topeka Police Officer David Scott said Ramirez was suffering "potentially life-threatening injuries," had difficulty breathing, and felt like she was about to pass out.

When she spotted the intruder inside her house, she told him to get out, he pulled his pistol and shot her, Ramirez testified.

In March, a second charge of first-degree murder in the killing of Patricia Marie Sanders, 37, was dismissed against Rayford. In late February, a charge of first degree murder in the death of Sanders was dismissed against a second defendant, Justin Lee McCoy, now 30.

Sanders' body was found on May 13, 2018, in her home in the 1300 block of S.E. Madison. Sanders had been fatally shot.