COLUMBIA — The jury trial for a Columbia teen charged with the murder of Bryan Rankin Jr. has been moved to July 16 from April 16 to give the defense more time to interview key witnesses.
Lamar Terrell Mayfield is accused of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Rock Bridge High School junior. Mayfield, 16, will be tried as an adult.
Public Defender Jenean Thompson asked for a continuance during a hearing Monday, saying her office wouldn't be ready for an April 16 trial.
Judge Gary Oxenhandler agreed after Thompson told him her investigators had to read more than 400 pages of documents and interview "numerous" expert witnesses.
The state could call as many as 95 witnesses in the Mayfield trial.
Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tracy Z. Gonzalez said the state was ready for trial and expressed concern about a delay until summer. During the Monday hearing, Gonzalez said many of the witnesses are in high school and may be on summer vacation.
Oxenhandler said he was open to delaying the trial until September if the state's key witnesses were out of town on summer break.
The April 7 shooting stemmed from a disturbance at a party near 3616 W. Sugar Lane. Police were dispatched the scene around 12:30 a.m.
According to probable cause statements, witnesses said Rankin was seated in his car, which was parked on a street near the party. A witness told police that Mayfield pointed a handgun at Rankin and shot him, the statement said.
Rankin was taken to University Hospital by a private vehicle, where he died hours after the incident took place.
He had been associated with the gang, Hollister Company Boys, though family members have said that they do not believe the shooting was gang-related.
Mayfield has been held in Boone County Jail since the shooting.