Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Teen Charged in Murder Freed ; Judge Declines to Bind over Defendant for Trial in June 2014 Shooting Death

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Teen Charged in Murder Freed ; Judge Declines to Bind over Defendant for Trial in June 2014 Shooting Death

Article excerpt

Dominic Ortega-Brown was free to go after a judge ruled the state didn't show he participated in the shooting death of Patrick Lightbourn.

Ortega-Brown, 17, had been charged as adult with first-degree murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. He faced a preliminary hearing Friday morning to determine whether there was probable cause the crime described in the charges had been committed, and that the defendant had committed it.

Ortega-Brown's older brother, Damieon Michael Ortega-Brown, 19, faces the same charges in the death of Lightbourn, 19. His trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

Lightbourn was shot outside a house at 620 S.W. Tyler on June 26 and died shortly after he was transported to a local hospital.

DeAndre Steele, who was at the house on the night of the shooting, testified he saw Damieon Ortega-Brown fire a long gun from the front passenger side of a car driven by Dominic Ortega-Brown's girlfriend, Darion Hinton. He testified he saw Dominic Ortega-Brown in the back seat of the car at the time of the shooting.

Judge David Debenham said the state didn't present evidence showing that Ortega-Brown aided his brother or encouraged him to shoot Lightbourn, and declined to bind him over for trial. Prosecutors could bring other charges against him related to the shooting, but didn't say whether they would do so.

Steele and two other witnesses testified that Dominic Ortega- Brown and Hinton had been present at a gathering at the house on S. …

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