Family devastated after mistrial declared in fall 2017 Lawrence triple murder case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A judge  declared a mistrial in a high profile triple murder case. The shootings happened in October 2017, killing three and injuring several more in the busy Mass Street business district of Lawrence.

The last minute legal hiccup is devastating to one victim's family.

Gretchen Brown holds tightly to a pendant and locket with her daughter Leah's name, photo and fingerprint.

"I love it. I wear it everyday. Open it often and keep it very close," said Brown.

The Brown family's felt a big hole the past year, since Leah was shot as she and friends were heading to their car on Massachusetts street in Lawrence in October 2017.

A fight broke out between a group of men, shots were fired, and as everyone scrambled, at least five were hurt, and three, including Leah, died.

"She was a huge presence in our life and she's missed. Nothing's the same," Brown said.

Not long after the shooting Ahmad Rayton and Dominique McMillion were arrested and charged in connection to the deadly shooting spree. Weeks later, Anthony Roberts was also charged.

Leah's family says the legal process has been daunting, but it seemed like they were close to the finish line when jury selection for the triple murder trial started Monday.

"I thought this is actually going to happen. We are really finally moving forward," said Brown.

But late Thursday, a last minute wrench came during defense council's questioning of the jury pool. A "legal issue" led the judge to declare a mistrial and now, the family and everyone involved will have to endure three separate trials, one for each suspect.

"It just doesn't seem fair to me," Brown said.

As painful as it all is, Leah's family is trying to remain positive.

"I feel like she's around in spirit and kind of gives me that push every day, of come on, get it together. You've got things to do," said Brown.

The family is also thankful for reminders of Leah's presence and as an organ donor, know she lives on in others.

As the legal battle continues, they're trying to shift the focus from those accused to remembering their vivacious, daughter with a big heart and bright smile.

"I don`t want Leah to be forgotten," Brown said.

The three trials are now slated for February, March and April.

The Browns are hoping no other hurdles come their way, so they can finally put this piece of their heartache behind them.

Tracking Coronavirus

More Tracking Coronavirus



More News