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Trial date set for suspect in teen’s central Columbia killing

Javion Lawhorn
Boone County Jail
Javion Lawhorn


A Columbia man is set to be tried in March for a fatal shooting despite requests from his lawyer to speed up the case.

Judge Kevin Crane on Friday set Javion Lawhorn's trial to start March 1. Assistant Boone County prosecutor Morley Swingle said he expects the trial to last three days, with opening arguments potentially slated to start March 2.

Investigators believe Lawhorn shot and killed 18-year-old Nadria Wright and injured Sam Baldwin IV on Sept. 13, 2019, near Forest and Grand avenues. Columbia police detectives said Lawhorn and Baldwin were on opposite sides of a feud, and that surveillance video showed Lawhorn get into the car that shots were fired from. Lawhorn is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Swingle said prosecutors are waiting for a Maryland crime lab's ballistic analysis of shell casings. While DNA evidence did not link the shells to Lawhorn, Swingle said the ballistic review could prove all the casings came from the same gun.

Lawhorn's attorney, Stephen Wyse, said he opposed any trial delay. He questioned whether ballistic analysis would be relevant because prosecutors had not disclosed to him whether they found a gun to link Lawhorn to the shooting. Wyse said any delay of the trial while Lawhorn is in jail on a $200,000 cash-only bond would hurt his client.

Crane also denied Wyse's request to suppress evidence Columbia police seized at Lawhorn's home in a search warrant. Wyse claimed detectives did not specify what probable cause they had to take things such as cellphones, laptops or blood evidence. Wyse said the warrant was kept too general, allowing detectives to seize "everything under the sun."

Swingle countered that the warrant application requested to seize any evidence that may relate to the crime of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, which would include the evidence listed.

Boone / Columbia / Court and Trials / Homicide / News / Top Stories

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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