Status hearing scheduled in murder case

Staff Writer
The Leavenworth Times

Another status hearing has been scheduled in the case of a man facing a murder charge for a 2017 shooting.

Ramaun K. Johnson, 32, appeared Friday in Leavenworth County District Court for a status hearing. He appeared in court through videoconferencing. The Zoom videoconferencing service is being used for many District Court proceedings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of Shavar A. Walker.

Walker, 33, Kansas City, Missouri, was shot multiple times in the early morning hours of Dec. 25, 2017, outside of an apartment complex in the 500 block of Vilas Street.

Johnson is charged with what is known as felony murder, which is a form of first-degree murder.

It is alleged that Walker was killed during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, distribution of cocaine.

Prosecutors are not necessarily alleging that Johnson shot Walker. But Johnson is alleged to have been involved in a drug deal that led to Walker’s death.

District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said Friday that a trial needs to be scheduled in the case.

But defense attorney John Bryant has been trying to secure the services of an expert witness for a hearing on a motion that seeks to suppress a statement Johnson made to police.

Bryant said Friday that he had not made much progress since a previous hearing last month, but he is in contact with someone.

Kuckelman scheduled a status hearing for Oct. 7.

The judge did not schedule a trial date. Kuckelman noted Leavenworth County District Court has not yet been cleared to have jury trials during the pandemic.

He said this may change by Oct. 7.