Crime & Courts

Man found guilty in April death

Quartez Brown was convicted of first-degree murder Friday in the shooting death of a Wichita man last April.

The jury of six men and six women also found Brown guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault.

Brown, 20, is one of four people charged in the shooting death of Otis Bolden Jr. last April 26 at his apartment in the 1500 block of South Webb Road.

Defense attorney Steve Mank didn't dispute that Brown shot Bolden but argued it wasn't premeditated.

"I don't think they knew what was going to happen — that's what the evidence shows," Mank said in his closing arguments Thursday. "It escalated and it just happened."

It escalated from a woman telling her boyfriend, Kevin L. Brown, that Bolden had helped gang rape her two years earlier.

The woman and a friend — who said Bolden had molested her the night before — took Kevin Brown, and his cousin, Quartez Brown, to Bolden's apartment.

Bolden was shot five times, which prosecutor Trinity Muth showed the men meant to kill.

The first shot hit the middle of Bolden's bed, where he was sleeping that morning.

"It shows they walked in firing," Muth told the jury.

The other four shots struck Bolden in the back, an autopsy showed. Bolden dove out his bedroom window and died outside.

"All he did was try to retreat for his life," Muth said. "And what did he get? Shot in the back."

Muth said the two men stopped at a friend's house to pick up guns before going to Bolden's apartment. The prosecutor said that showed premeditation.

Sedgwick County District Judge Anthony Powell had cited that stop as a reason for not giving jury the choice of voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing "in the heat of passion."

"The problem is the passage of time of a couple of hours," Powell said. "They had a period to cool off."

A 19-year-old woman testified she had been at Bolden's apartment the night before, when he and another man began groping her friend.

The witness said Bolden also indicated he'd had sex with her before. She had filed a police report two years earlier claiming her boyfriend held her at gunpoint while seven men raped her. No charges were filed.

"This is not a case about whether someone is a good guy or a bad guy," Muth said. "It is a case about whether Quartez Brown committed premeditated murder."

The women waited in the car during the shooting.

The alleged rape victim pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces prison in sentencing set for next month.

The other woman is tentatively set for trial March 14 on a charge of first-degree murder.

Kevin Brown also faces first-degree murder in a trial scheduled for April 4.