Crime & Courts

Dispute over dog may have led to killing of neighbor

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the caliber of the ammunition found in the yard.

WICHITA -- A neighborhood dispute, which prosecutors say led to the death of Grady Lane, started over a dog.

Erin Gonzalez-Lane said she and her husband had disagreements with their neighbor, Derrick Richard, after their dog disappeared. The Lanes had accused Richard of taking the dog, Gonzalez-Lane testified this morning during Richard's murder trial.

The argument lasted less than a week last summer.

"It started on Monday," Gonzalez-Lane said. That Saturday, July 17, 2010, she awoke to find her husband dead.

The night before had gone like many others, she told the jury. Gonzalez-Lane came home from work and went to dinner with her husband and their son and daughter. She gave the children a bath and went upstairs to a room, where they watched television.

"I wanted to relax for a bit with my husband," she said.

She and Grady Lane had planned on having a garage sale the next day, and she knew it would start early. Gonzalez-Lane decided to go to bed by about 10 p.m. Her husband wanted to stay up a little longer and play a video game.

"Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. That's the best way to describe it," she said of the noise that woke her up. "It sounded like fireworks."

She checked to see if the noise woke up her kids, then she went back to sleep.

Gonzalez-Lane got up to tend to the garage sale and went to check on her husband. What she found horrified her.

"He's got blood all over the side of his face," she frantically told a 911 operator. "He's not breathing. He's not breathing at all."

Lane was on a couch in the TV room, shot in the head.

When police arrived, they found bullet holes in the window and through the wall passing through the window frame. The window looked out in the back yard, where officers located several spent cartridges from a semi-automatic hand gun and a live round.

Gonzalez-Lane told police about the dispute. She also told them Richard had fired off a gun before -- into the air.

"He called my husband and said he'd just been blowing off steam and everything was OK," she testified.

Richard's defense contends he didn't fire a gun that night.

Crime scene investigator Natalie Rowe testified she identified the shells and live bullet as Speer brand .45-caliber ammunition.

Officers went to Richard's house and obtained a consent to search it from a women there. On the back porch, officers found a hand gun. Near the ceiling, hidden on a ledge, they found a magazine.

The gun was a Haskell .45-caliber pistol.

The trial is continuing this week before Judge Eric Commer.

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