Jury trial for teen charged in shooting death of Lawrence boy postponed to spring 2024

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The jury trial for a Lawrence teen charged in the shooting death of a Lawrence boy will be postponed more than three months as the defense awaits lab reports.

Originally set for Nov. 27, the jury trial for Derrick D. Reed, 18, is now scheduled to begin March 4, 2024. During a hearing on Thursday morning, Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny granted the defense’s motion to continue the trial while firearm evidence is under review.

“The case was continued to allow for time for additional scientific testing to be conducted, most notably around gunshot residue evidence,” defense attorney Mark Hartman said via email after the hearing.

Reed is set to be tried for first-degree murder in connection with the death of Kamarjay Shaw, 14. The shooting took place on Saturday, March 18, 2023 in Lawrence. At the time of the shooting, Reed was 17, but Pokorny has previously ruled he will be tried as an adult and will not be granted immunity from prosecution.

According to previous testimony, Kamarjay and four teen boys around 5 p.m. on March 18 were at the apartment of a teen female friend and her sister, just around the corner from Reed’s home. Another teen girl called one of the boys via Snapchat audio and told him to come outside because Reed wanted to fight him, according to testimony. 

The group went outside, assuming it was going to be a one-on-one fist fight between Reed and Kamarjay or one of the other boys. The boys testified that they were trying to get Reed to come out to the street to fight, but Reed refused, instead trying to get the other boys to come into the house or backyard, which they refused to do. The boys were heading back to their friend’s apartment when they saw Reed come out of the house, they testified. There were two gunshots, and Kamarjay was hit while running away. (Read more from that hearing in this article.)

During the first part of Reed’s preliminary hearing on Aug. 14, Snapchat message evidence revealed a conversation between the account law enforcement linked to Reed and an unnamed person on the morning of the shooting. Within that exchange, Reed repeatedly used the n-word and insinuated carrying out violence against others.

Hartman had also called an expert from the KBI to testify about gunshot residue testing. The actual results of the testing were not shared during the Aug. 14 hearing, but Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum said during a Sept. 1 hearing that Pokorny had a report that indicated there was gunshot residue on Reed’s hands and the steering wheel of his vehicle.

Reed is currently in custody of the Douglas County jail on a $500,000 cash or surety bond. All arrestees and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless and until they are convicted.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version.

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