Crime & Courts

Jury finds Richard guilty of murder in neighbor's shooting

Four shots rang through the summer night's air last summer, and a few neighbors thought it might be the last remnants of Fourth of July fireworks.

That's what Erin Gonzalez-Lane said she thought when the noise woke her up that Friday night. Then the next morning, she woke up and found her husband, Grady Lane, dead and shot through the head.

A jury this afternoon determined that Derrick Richard, the Lanes' neighbor, fired those shots the night of July 16, 2010, finding him guilty of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Richard, who had denied firing the shots, will face life in prison when he returns to face Sedgwick County District Judge Eric Commer for sentencing on Oct. 27.

Jurors deliberated for most of the afternoon before announcing they'd reached a verdict around 5 p.m.

Gonzalez-Lane had testified the neighbors in the 500 block of North Wabash, near Central and Washington, had argued earlier that week. The Lanes had accused Richard of taking their dog. The arguments had erupted that Monday, she testified.

Grady Lane had been upstairs in a den, where he had been watching television and playing a video game, when a bullet struck him in the head. Police found four bullet holes near through the window and frame, which looked out onto the back yard.

Police had been called that Friday night to investigate shots, but neighbors told them they weren't sure if it was gun shots or fireworks. An officer testified he talked to Richard, who said he'd not heard the noise.

But officers found fired bullet cartridges and a live round in the back yard. They found a semi-automatic hand gun in a box on Richard's back porch. The cartridges found in the back yard were the same brand as ammunition found in Richard's house.

A firearms expert testified the firing marks found on the cartridges matches matched test shots fire from the gun found on Richards' porch.

Gonzales-Lane and other members of Grady Lane's family wept as the verdict was read.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

  Comments