Drake’s status is at issue

Does he stand trial as an adult? Hearing will decide

By Katherine Wartell

Cole Drake appeared in district court Thursday for hearing to determine whether he will be tried as an adult for the April 2011 murder of Tyler Dowling, 14, a Manhattan High School freshman.

The state called five witnesses Thursday morning, including Det. Alan Riniker, who told the court that Dowling had a gunshot injury to the middle right of his back. He said Dowling was found with socks on his hands and his shorts pockets pulled out.

He also described finding a 22-caliber shell case about 30 feet from Dowling’s body and a live 22-caliber round about 6 feet from his body.

He said officers recovered Dowling’s purported cell phone from a pond near the field and his tennis shoes in a trash bag at the Riley County Transfer Station. He said an envelope addressed to Kristi Gorman, Drake’s mother, was also recovered in the same trash bag with Dowling’s tennis shoes.

The state called two other RCPD detectives to the stand, including Brad Ingalls, now a sergeant in patrol, who made initial contact with Drake on April 13, after it was determined that Drake was the last person to see Dowling on April 12. Ingalls told the court that he recovered a firearm from Manhattan Baptist Church, 510 Tuttle St., based upon statements Drake made to detectives.

Officer Joshua Opat, who first responded to the scene, told the court that when he examined Dowling’s body, it was clear he had been dead for some time.

Anthony King, a senior at MHS, said he and three friends discovered Dowling’s body in a field near Eisenhower Middle School in the early evening of April 13 while they were walking home. King told the court that he was not acquainted with Dowling.

The hearing was expected to last into the afternoon, with statements Drake made to police expected to be shown to the court.

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