Judge rules teen to be tried as adult in death of Baker student
A Douglas County District Court judge ordered a 17-year-old Lawrence man to be tried as an adult in connection with a botched robbery in East Lawrence that ended in the deaths of two men.
A cheer arose in the courtroom as Judge Michael Malone announced that Kellam Jones should be prosecuted in adult court.
Jones is charged with felony murder and attempted aggravated robbery in connection with a June 7 incident at a home in the 1300 block of Delaware that ended in the deaths of 20-year-old Baker University student Roland Klundt and 18-year-old Gage Hauk.
Prosecutors have said that Jones, armed with a rifle, and Hauk, armed with an air pistol, went to Klundt's home around 2:30 a.m. June 7 to rob Klundt of drugs and money.
According to prosecutors, Klundt shot Hauk, killing him. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson has said that Jones then fired five to eight shots, killing Klundt.
Malone heard arguments late last month and issued his ruling late Friday afternoon after considering eight statutory factors, ranging from the seriousness of the alleged offense to the juvenile's prior criminal record.
"The first degree murder charge is the most serious in our state," Malone said. "A young man, one year away from being an adult, planned a robbery. They were armed with weapons and Mr. Klundt was shot and killed."
Malone pointed out that the crime took place in a residential neighborhood, calling it a serious and bold crime.
The announcement of the ruling was delayed more than an hour, while the judge waited for Jones' mother to be present in the courtroom. She was not notified of the hearing. After the ruling, she declined to comment.
Jones is scheduled to make his first appearance in adult court Sept. 10.