Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced today a jury convicted Lawrence resident Dustin D. Walker, 31, of first degree felony murder in the 2014 shooting of Mr. Patrick D. Roberts. A jury found Walker guilty of Aggravated Burglary in a February 2015 trial but the jury could not agree on a verdict about felony murder. Branson said of the verdict, “Justice has finally been served.”
Investigation into the case began at approximately 3:10 a.m. on March 8, 2014 when officers with the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) were dispatched to the 2400 block of Cedarwood Avenue in reference to a shooting at a residence. Through LPD’s exhaustive investigation, they determined two men, later to be identified as Archie L. Robinson and Dustin Walker kicked in the victim’s front door, charged into his bedroom and demanded to know, “Where is it?” Within seconds, the victim was shot in the abdomen. The victim’s brother and one of the suspects wrestled for control of the gun. The gun discharged a second time and a bullet lodged into the ceiling of the townhome. Robinson and Walker lost control of the gun and fled the area on foot. Robinson and Walker were captured by LPD officers shortly after the crime, in close proximity to the victim’s home. Mr. Roberts was quickly transported via ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, but tragically, he was pronounced dead upon arrival. To contribute to the tragic nature of the event, not only was the victim’s brother present during the murder, but the victim’s teenage son and his mother were also witnesses to the crime.
Walker’s trial began on Monday, March 7. A jury was selected that day and opening arguments were delivered Tuesday morning. The case was presented throughout the week and closing arguments were delivered this morning and the case went to the jury around noon. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning its verdict.
Walker faces lifetime imprisonment with no consideration of parole until he has served a minimum of 20 years in prison and sentencing was scheduled for April 29 at 10:00 a.m. The Court also revoked his bond.
Case co-defendant Robinson was found guilty March 13, 2015 of first degree felony murder and aggravated burglary. He was sentenced on April 16 to lifetime imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 20 years for the first degree felony murder charge and 57 months concurrent to the lifetime sentence for the aggravated burglary charge. The Court also ordered if Robinson is released from prison that he must register as a violent offender for 15 years.
The Honorable Paula B. Martin presided over all trials. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and the trial was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorneys Amy McGowan and C.J. Rieg.