A Fort Riley soldier was preparing to take his family on vacation when events surrounding a shooting unfolded at a Junction City apartment complex he lived in last summer.
Geary County Attorney Krista Blaisdell called Roger Punchard as a witness in the state’s case against Fontelle N. Jolly during a preliminary hearing Monday in Geary County District Court. Jolly has been charged with the murder of Felix Snipes and the attempted murder of Cartavius King. Junction City police officers arrested Jolly after a shooting that occurred Aug. 31, 2018, shortly after 4:30 p.m. at an apartment complex at 2306 Wildcat Lane.
Punchard served as the first witness to be called in the case, as Blaisdell said his testimony was needed before the soldier’s upcoming relocation overseas. Punchard described the events that occurred the day of the shooting. He said he was preparing to take his family on a vacation to Oklahoma, and he and his child were waiting for his wife in his car, which was parked in the apartment complex’s parking lot. He said he heard a commotion in the apartment complex.
“It was a lot of yelling,” Punchard said. “I think it was over a hat.”
One of the men yelling demanded that the other give him his hat, while the other said it was his hat, Punchard said. After he had been waiting in his car for about 15 minutes, Punchard said the people yelling had moved from an upper level of the complex to its lower level. Eventually, he saw two black males emerge from the building’s stairwell.
“They were yelling at someone else,” Punchard said. “I looked at my phone, then heard shots.”
Punchard said he then saw a shooter emerge from the stairwell. After hearing the shots, Punchard grabbed his child and ran for safety, he said. When he returned to the scene, he saw that the two men he had initially seen emerge from the building had been shot. He said he tried to help the men — and ripped one man’s shirt open to examine his wounds — and noted that he did not see a firearm on either of them.
The defense played a video that was taken the day of the shooting, during which Punchard’s statement to a law enforcement officer included a comment that two men had shot at each other. But when Blaisdell asked Punchard — based on what he remembered about the incident — how many shooters he saw, he answered that he only saw one.
After the hearing, Punchard was released from his subpoena, and he is free to relocate overseas. Jolly’s next hearing will be held March 20 at 9 a.m.