One of the four men charged in Friday’s killing of a Shawnee gun store owner made his first court appearance Monday afternoon.
Hakeem Willie Malik, 18, appeared in Johnson County District Court via closed-circuit television from the Johnson County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
The three other suspects in the death of 44-year-old Jon Bieker remained hospitalized Monday from gunshot injuries sustained in Friday’s attempted robbery at She’s A Pistol in the 5700 block of Nieman Road.
According to Shawnee police, gunfire erupted as the four men tried to rob the store Friday afternoon. Details of how the incident unfolded have not been released.
Becky Bieker, Jon Bieker’s wife and the store’s co-owner, was struck on the face in the incident and hospitalized overnight.
Police arrested two of the suspects at the store. Two others fled but were arrested in a nearby neighborhood after a resident heard them trying to hide on her property and called police.
An inventory of the store’s merchandise confirmed that no weapons were missing, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
Malik was not required to enter a plea in Monday’s brief hearing. He requested a court-appointed attorney. Magistrate Judge Dan Vokins set Malik’s next court appearance for Jan. 22.
Johnson County prosecutors charged all four men Sunday with first-degree felony murder. The three others facing charges are Nicquan Midgyett, 19, DeAnthony Wiley, 19, and Londro Patterson III, 20.
The charges allege that Bieker was killed during the commission of the “inherently dangerous” crime of aggravated robbery or attempted aggravated robbery. If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years.
It was not known Monday when any of the injured men would be transferred from the hospital to jail. Vokins appointed private attorneys for each and set Jan. 22 as their next court dates.
Two of them are listed in fair condition at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The third remains in critical condition at the University of Kansas Hospital. Officials at both hospitals have not disclosed the identities of their patients.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe on Monday declined to discuss specifics of the case or what roles each defendant allegedly played in the crime.
Under Kansas law, all participants in a crime can be held equally culpable regardless of their role, Howe said. Likewise, under the felony murder law, participants in a dangerous crime such as robbery can be charged with first-degree murder if someone dies in the crime, even if they did not directly kill the person.
Kansas City police have investigated Midgyett, Patterson and Wiley for firearm-related crimes in recent months, according to court records and police reports.
Investigators questioned Wiley in connection with a September incident in which a man was shot in the chest while driving near 73rd Street and the Paseo, according to police reports. The victim survived. No charges have been filed.
Patterson pleaded guilty in September in Jackson County to unlawful use of a weapon and was placed on probation for three years. The case stemmed from an incident in April in which police caught Patterson illegally carrying a concealed firearm near 60th Terrace and Jackson Avenue.
Midgyett was arrested in September near 12th Street and Woodland Avenue after a domestic dispute in which he allegedly possessed a handgun. He was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and assault for allegedly spitting on a police officer. Those charges are pending in Jackson County, according to court records.