Affidavit: Murder suspect involved in shootout during drug deal

John Richmeier
Cody J. Nichols

A man facing a murder charge in Leavenworth County allegedly became involved in a shootout during what was supposed to have been a drug deal.

That is according to a probable cause affidavit that was prepared in the case of Cody J. Nichols.

Nichols, 19, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is charged in with first-degree murder in connection to the July 18 death of Sanquan M. Brooks. Brooks, 30, died in the 700 block of North 13th Terrace in Leavenworth.

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.”

The probable cause affidavit, which was prepared by Detective Ryan Hoppe of the Leavenworth Police Department, provides details about the allegations against Nichols.

Per state law, the affidavit initially was sealed. But a judge released the affidavit with a few redactions Thursday following a request from the Leavenworth Times.

According to the affidavit, a witness alleged that Nichols was supposed to trade with Brooks a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder in exchange for five grams of methamphetamine.

After receiving the drugs, Nichols allegedly brandished a handgun. And Brooks brandished a handgun as Nichols reportedly was reaching for his gun. There reportedly was an exchange of gunfire between the two men, according to the affidavit.

The Leavenworth Police Department received multiple calls regarding shots being fired. Officers arrived at the scene and found Brooks, who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, inside a vehicle. He was declared dead at the scene.

A .40 caliber handgun was found on Brooks’ lap. Detectives found 10 .40 caliber shell casings and 15 9 mm shell casings at the scene, according to the affidavit.

A witness who was present during the shooting suffered a gunshot wound to his right arm. He drove from the scene in the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.

The witness provided police with the name of an ex-girlfriend of the suspect. A detective with the Leavenworth Police Department contacted surrounding law enforcement agencies, requesting information about police activity regarding the ex-girlfriend as well as associates of the woman.

The Lee’s Summit Police Department provided information about four people including Nichols along with photographs.

Two witnesses reportedly identified Nichols in photo lineups, according to the affidavit.

A woman also told police that she was asked to give a man a ride for $20 on the day of the shooting. She was told the man’s car had been stolen.

The woman met the man, who introduced himself as “Cody” in Leavenworth. The man reportedly had a handgun in his possession but told the woman it was empty because he had fired the gun while being shot at, according to the affidavit.

The woman told police she drove the man to Kansas City, Missouri.

Hoppe also wrote in the affidavit that prints taken from the Nissan Pathfinder reportedly were found to match known fingerprints and palm prints of Nichols.

Nichols remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR