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Murder trial delayed for Columbia double shooting suspect

forest grand shooting nadria wright sam baldwin
ABC 17 News
Columbia police investigate a shooting near the intersection of Forest Ave. and Grand Ave. in September 2019.


A trial for the suspect accused of killing a teenager in 2019 will once again be moved back.

Judge Kevin Crane allowed prosecutors two more weeks to get lab reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions for Javion Lawhorn's trial. Crane set the trial to start on March 15.

Lawhorn has been in custody since September 2019, accused of killing 18-year-old Nadria Wright and hurting Sam Baldwin IV in a shooting on Forest Ave. and Grand Ave. that month. Lawhorn is charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. Columbia police claim Lawhorn and Baldwin were feuding, and that Lawhorn is seen on surveillance video getting into the car allegedly involved in the shooting.

Boone County assistant prosecuting attorney Morley Swingle said ATF agents told him the reports on shell casings found at the scene were "nearing completion," but he had still not yet received them. Swingle made a similar request in December to delay the trial, which defense attorney Stephen Wyse opposed. Swingle wrote in a Feb. 16 motion that the DNA testing also being done on the shell casings did not match with Lawhorn.

Swingle said the ATF lab reports were important to the case, as they may corroborate witness statements who claim Lawhorn told them he was the shooter that night. Wyse said in court that GPS data will show Lawhorn in a different part of town at the time of the shooting.

Wyse also asked Crane to compel prosecutors to give him reports and notes on a witness CPD interviewed about the case last year. Swingle said Lawhorn allegedly told this witness that he was the shooter that night, and agreed to hand over the evidence. Swingle pushed back on providing reports on a DNA test mentioned in CPD records, claiming they were connected to an unrelated federal investigation.

Both sides will argue over keeping certain evidence out of trial, such as witness statements and items CPD collected, at a pre-trial hearing scheduled on March 12 at 9 a.m.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.


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