Part of the motive during an apartment break-in in which a 52-year-old resident was killed was to steal prescription drugs, a Topeka police detective said Friday.
Defendant Ebony Lanay Porter, 30, of 630 S.W. Taylor, appeared Friday in Shawnee County District Court on a charge of second-degree murder. Porter earlier was bound over to be tried on a charge of second-degree murder for aiding and abetting in the death of Mark Everett Johnson on Dec. 16.
Police obtained records of transactions on the debit card from the date of Johnson’s death to Dec. 22, when Judd sought the records. Money had been obtained using the card on five occasions, the first at 8:40 p.m. on the day Johnson was killed, police said.
Porter is scheduled to be tried starting on June 26 before District Court Judge Cheryl Rios.
Rios ruled on Friday that statements given by Porter to Topeka police Detective Jason Judd were voluntarily made. On May 19, a second hearing will be conducted to determine whether statements made by Porter to a second detective were voluntarily made.
In February, a detective testified that a surveillance camera at a debit card machine showed co-defendant Ford using the debit card of Johnson to withdraw cash.
Following that preliminary hearing of Ford, 36, of 611 S.W. Fillmore, he was bound over to be tried in Johnson’s death. On April 13, Ford’s homicide charge was amended from second-degree murder to felony first-degree murder, and he also is charged with aggravated burglary.
In a hearing in February, a witness testified seeing Ford carrying a baseball bat dripping with blood and was in the same building as Johnson.
Ford is to be tried starting on May 15.
Shawnee County coroner Charles Glenn, a forensic pathologist, said Johnson died as a result of blunt force injuries to the head but had also suffered three stab wounds.
Johnson suffered 12 to 15 “separate impacts” to the head, Glenn said. One or more blows caused a skull fracture and bleeding of the brain, and those were consistent with the victim being struck with a bat, Glenn said.
Contact reporter Steve Fry at (785) 295-1206 or @TCJCourtsNCrime on Twitter.