Murder case bound over for arraignment

John Richmeier
Cody J. Nichols

The case of a man facing a murder charge in Leavenworth has been bound over for arraignment.

Cody J. Nichols is scheduled to have his arraignment Oct. 23 in Leavenworth County District Court. The decision by District Judge Gerald Kuckelman to bind over the case came Tuesday at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing.

Nichols, 19, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is charged with 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.”

Prosecutors argue Nichols was involved in a drug deal that led to the shooting death of Sanquan M. Brooks.

The incident is reported to have occurred July 18 in the parking lot of an apartment building in the 700 block of North 13th Terrace.

During Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Assistant County Attorney Megan Williams called several witnesses to testify.

One of the prosecution witnesses was Collin Ireland.

Ireland, who was a friend of Brooks, was present during the shooting and was wounded in his right arm.

Ireland testified that he served as a go-between to arrange a transaction between Nichols and Brooks. Ireland said he had a general idea of what was supposed to take place. Ireland said Nichols was going to trade a vehicle for drugs and money.

Ireland testified that during the meeting, Nichols allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting.

During cross examination, Nichols’ attorney, Gregory Robinson, argued that his client had only intended to sell a vehicle for money. The defense attorney argued Ireland and Brooks had attempted to rob his client.

“You were ripping this man off right?” Robinson asked Ireland.

Ireland denied that he attempted to rob the defendant.

“I’m a victim,” Ireland said. “I got shot. I know who shot me.”

Robinson said, “People who commit crimes also get shot sir.”

Several members of the Leavenworth Police Department also testified during the hearing.

Sgt. Steeli Norton testified that Brooks was found dead inside a Pontiac Grand Am at the scene of the shooting. She said a firearm was on Brooks’ lap.

That same morning, police responded to the 1100 block of Pottawatomie Street. Police found a Nissan Pathfinder that turned out to be the vehicle Nichols allegedly was supposed to trade at the scene of the shooting.

Ireland testified he drove away from the scene in the Pathfinder after the shooting started.

Detective Ryan Hoppe of the Leavenworth Police Department testified the Pathfinder had been reported stolen in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Nichols, who remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail, will be asked to enter a plea during his arraignment.

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