Murder suspect appears with attorney
A man accused of murder in Leavenworth made his first court appearance Friday after being appointed an attorney.
Cody J. Nichols, 19, Lee's Summit, Missouri, is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the July 18 death of Sanquan M. Brooks. Brooks, 30, reportedly died during what appeared to be an exchange of gunfire in the 700 block of North 13th Terrace in Leavenworth.
Nichols was not with his attorney during Friday's appearance in Leavenworth County District Court. Both Nichols and defense attorney Greg Robinson participated in the hearing. But they were in different locations and appeared in court through an online videoconferencing service.
The Zoom videoconferencing service is being used for many Leavenworth County District Court proceedings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nichols made his court appearance from the Leavenworth County Jail where he remains in custody.
Nichols is accused of what is known as felony murder, which is a form of first-degree murder.
According to state law, felony murder occurs "in the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from any inherently dangerous felony."
A written complaint filed in Nichols' case alleges the death of Brooks arose from the distribution of methamphetamine.
Robinson said during Friday's hearing that he had not yet had the opportunity to speak with Nichols.
"I was just notified that I was appointed," Robinson said.
The defense attorney said he has requested evidence through the discovery process.
District Judge Gerald Kuckelman scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 30.
As Friday's hearing concluded, Robinson offered advice to his new client.
"Mr. Nichols, don't talk about your case," Robinson said.