A judge has granted a motion to preserve physical evidence in a Leavenworth murder case.


The motion was granted Friday as Cody J. Nichols appeared in court.


Nichols, 19, is accused of what is known as felony murder, which is a form of first-degree murder. Felony murder occurs when someone is killed during the commission of a felony that is considered inherently dangerous.


Nichols is charged in connection to the July 18 shooting death of Sanquan M. Brooks in Leavenworth.


Nichols made his court appearance Friday from the Leavenworth County Jail through the online videoconferencing service Zoom.


Zoom is being used for many Leavenworth County District Court proceedings because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Nichols’ attorney, Greg Robinson, filed a motion earlier in the week seeking the preservation of physical evidence, including two vehicles, until the defense has the opportunity to inspect the evidence.


District Judge Gerald Kuckelman granted the motion at the conclusion of Friday’s hearing.


Prosecutors have alleged Nichols was involved in a drug deal that led to Brooks’ death.


But at the conclusion of an Oct. 13 preliminary hearing, Kuckelman ruled the underlying felony in the case should be possession or attempted possession of methamphetamine.


Prosecutors have filed a motion asking Kuckelman to reconsider this ruling. Prosecutors argue the underlying felony that led to Brooks’ death was the distribution of methamphetamine.


This motion is still pending.


Robinson has requested additional time to respond to the motion. The defense attorney said he is awaiting a transcript of the preliminary hearing before filing a written response.


Robinson said Friday that he believes the transcript will be available next week.


Kuckelman scheduled a hearing on the prosecution’s motion for Dec. 11.


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