Topeka man to serve life sentence for Mass. Street triple murder

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – Anthony Roberts Jr., 22, of Topeka, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for his involvement in the October 2017 triple murder in downtown Lawrence.

On June 25, Roberts was found guilty of Second Degree Murder of Colwin Henderson III, First Degree Felony Murder of Leah Brown, First Degree Felony Murder of Tre’Mel Dean and Attempted Second Degree Murder of Tahzay Rayton.

District Court Judge Sally D. Pokorny sentenced Roberts to 165 months for Murder in the Second Degree, 61 months for Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, and 25 years to life for each of the counts of Murder in the First Degree, with all counts to run consecutively.

Roberts must serve at least 68 years of his life sentence before he is eligible for parole. If he does become eligible, he will be subject to lifetime post-release supervision and will be required to register as a violent offender for 15 years.

The two other Topeka men involved in the shooting, Ahmad Malik Rayton, and Dominque Jacquez McMillon, pleaded to lesser charges earlier this year.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said that the shooting started after Roberts, Rayton and McMillon arrived in Lawrence to confront a rival group about battering one of Roberts’ friends. Upon confrontation, a fight broke out and shots were fired.

Roberts, who was several feet away from the fight drew his handgun and shot and killed Colwin Henderson III who was fighting with Roberts’ codefendants. Evidence at the scene would show that Roberts fired 15 rounds not only striking and killing Henderson but also striking and killing Brown and Dean. Roberts’ shots also wounded Tahzay Rayton.

Charles Branson, Douglas County District Attorney

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