Jan Tracy Kilbourne appeared at a preliminary hearing before Judge David A. Ricke Friday morning regarding the shooting of a Butler County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Lawrence at which he pleaded not guilty.
Before setting a hearing date, Ricke heard testimony from witnesses in the case.
The first witness called by County Attorney Darrin Devinney was Deputy Jacob Lawrence, who has been a deputy for 2 1/2 years.
"I came on duty at 5 p.m. I was working the night shift," said Lawrence. "I was in between Augusta and Andover on Highway 54 traveling eastbound, approaching the SW Santa Fe Lake and 54 intersection. I noticed a vehicle traveling west bound 46-47 miles per hour. I watched in my rearview mirror as it turned south bound into the asphalt plant parking lot and proceeded to turn all its lights off. Up to this point, we had been having thefts and burglaries in the area in businesses. It was a holiday weekend and no one should be in that area or in that parking lot, so I went to investigate."
Lawrence went on to explain after turning around and going back to check on that vehicle, he encountered a vehicle with three occupants, two white males and one white female. Kilbourne, the driver of the vehicle, claimed to be having vehicle problems and asked for help. After offering to call a tow truck for the group and explaining about several motels in the area, he collected identification from the three individuals and learned Kilbourne's driver's license had expired.
Lawrence said thinking he would give the driver a bit of a break, he requested the passenger in the front seat, Graham Tyler, switch seats with Kilbourne due to the fact Tyler had a valid license.
"He did seem like he wanted to get out of there," said Lawrence.
Lawrence continued to explain upon inquiring where the group was headed, Kilbourne stated they were headed to Atlanta from Hutchinson, but the story quickly changed to the group traveling from Atlanta to Hutchinson, having picked up their female passenger, Tasha Koehen who had supposedly been involved in a domestic dispute.
Lawrence then moved back to his patrol car to run the information through dispatch.
"While I was at my patrol vehicle, the car began moving forward," explained Lawrence. "I told them to stop and shined my flashlight through their windshield."
He continued, explaining that upon approaching the vehicle again, the radio located on his right shoulder indicated Kilbourne held a warrant for a previous theft. He assured Kilborne he was going to personally validate the warrant and see what action needed to be taken. Upon reaching his patrol car once again, he phoned his shift sergeant. During the phone call, Lawrence was instructed to switch his radio channel to the Augusta frequency. Upon approaching the vehicle for a final time, Lawrence momentarily glanced down to adjust his radio.
Page 2 of 3 - "I got this feeling, so I turned back around and looked at the vehicle," explained Lawrence. "The door was open. I saw Mr. Taylor leaning forward onto the steering wheel and Mr. Kilborne reaching behind him to the driver's side door with a gun in his hand. It was a chrome or silver colored revolver."
When the gun fired, Lawrence was hit in the right shoulder just below the collarbone.
"I was wearing a bullet-proof vest," said Lawrence. "I didn't immediately return fire, but I started backing toward my patrol car for cover. I don't remember feeling any pain until after the incident."
He further said following the shot, Kilborne exited the passenger's side of the vehicle and moved quickly around the front. The car simultaneously began rolling backward. As Kilborne moved to the driver's side front tire, Lawrence drew his weapon and began returning fire.
"I heard him scream 'I'm hit, I'm hit!'" said Lawrence. "He moved right along the driver's side of the back seat and started running toward the asphalt building behind the vehicle."
Once at the passenger side of his patrol vehicle, Lawrence got on his radio to call for help.
"I told the other two vehicle passengers to stop the car and not move," said Lawrence. "I then extracted a shotgun from my patrol car and secured the passengers."
Lawrence continued his testimony by stating his backup, Sgt. McCluskey; an Andover officer; and an Augusta officer were on the scene within minutes. He assisted with cover until the passengers were taken into custody, then McCluskey helped him back to his vehicle, where his injury was examined. Lawrence was then taken to Wesley Medical Center by ambulance.
Next, Detective Monty Hughey took the stand.
"I was on call that week," explained Hughey. "I was called out after the shooting at about 5:15 a.m."
Hughey explained his first trip was to Wesley Medical Center in order to photograph Lawrence's injuries. He then arrived upon the scene and helped continue the search for Kilborne in the surrounding area. After searching for several days, Kilborne was located at a home in Wichita owned by a Melinda Martin. A revolver matching the description of the firearm was found in the garage of the home and Kilborne was located approximately half to one block away from the home on foot where he was taken into custody. He accompanied Kilborne to Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital where a wound to his left hip, appearing to be a gunshot, was treated.
Finally, Sgt. Chad McCluskey with the Augusta Police Department was called to the stand.
"I was self-deployed over hearing the radio traffic that morning," explained McCluskey. "I arrived at the same time as two other vehicles."
Page 3 of 3 - McCluskey then further explained upon arriving, he and the other officers pulled the two remaining suspects out of the vehicle and took them into custody before relieving Lawrence and inspecting his injury.
"I arrived at 5:06 a.m.," explained McCluskey. "I worked that scene for 12 hours."
Following the testimony, Devinney said, "The state believes that there was intent to kill Deputy Lawrence with this gunshot and it was done with premeditation. There's been significant evidence of all of these incidences presented here today."
Upon hearing the three testimonies, Ricke began reading the charges in the case. Kilbourne was charged with attempted capital murder, criminal possession of a firearm by a felon and interference with law enforcement. He pleaded not guilty and the trial was scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 16.