WRITER: Sara Shepherd

Missing woman, young child located 'safe and unharmed,' police say

Story updated 8:15 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2019. A missing woman and her young son were found "safe and unharmed" Friday evening, police said about eight hours after asking the public for help locating them. At about 11:45 a.m. Friday, police asked the public for help in finding Felicia Miner, 22, and her son Dominic Miner, 3. At the time, police said Miner and Dominic might have been in the company of an ...

Man ordered to prison in manslaughter-by-methadone case; he victimized relative to cheat on drug test

A Baldwin City man has been sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter of his father-in-law, who died taking methadone to help the younger man cheat on a drug test. At Friday’s sentencing hearing for 35-year-old Justin R. Jones, loved ones of his victim, 47-year-old Eric S. Everts, of Baldwin City, had asked for more prison time. Speakers described Jones as not only addicted but depraved ...

Retrial for Lawrence Motel 6 murder defendant pushed back another 6 months

It will be nearly six more months before a murder defendant from the 2017 homicide at Motel 6 in Lawrence faces a jury for his second trial. The case involved a lot of bullets — three men were shot a total of 17 times, and stray bullets traveled as far as a neighboring business, evidence at the first trial showed. The defense team said it needed time to consult a ballistics expert, among other things. When ...

2nd woman gets life in prison for murder, setting body on fire, but with chance at parole after 25 years

Story updated at 1:33 p.m. Thursday As soon as she heard her son had been murdered, Debbie Wales has said she knew his ex-girlfriend did it. As for the other woman who helped, Wales said she’s still baffled. “I just don’t understand why a person can make a decision to kill someone they don’t even know,” Wales said. “This person chose to believe lies. This person chose to kill a human ...

Police: Lawrence stabbing victim remains in critical condition; no arrests made

A woman who was found stabbed multiple times in her West Lawrence home remained in critical but stable condition Thursday, police said. Police had not made an arrest in the case but were “working diligently” to follow leads, Sgt. Amy Rhoads said. Rhoads encouraged anyone with information to call police at 785-832-7509, or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers of Lawrence and Douglas County at 785-843-TIPS ...

Lawrence police plan DUI patrol Saturday, 4/20

The Lawrence Police Department is planning extra DUI enforcement throughout the city on Saturday — which is April 20, celebrated among marijuana smokers as the 4/20 holiday. The DUI saturation patrol will involve placing extra officers on the road specifically to look for motorists showing signs of impaired driving or other traffic violations, police said in a news release. Officers will perform field ...

Man charged in 2017 hit-and-run that seriously injured people pushing car on 23rd Street

Updated at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday A man has been arrested on charges from a 2017 hit-and-run crash that seriously injured multiple people pushing a disabled car on 23rd Street in Lawrence. Andrew A. Walden, 25, of Iola, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of aggravated battery, for allegedly recklessly causing great bodily harm to two people hurt in that accident, Rowena Racehorse and ...

Woman stabbed in west Lawrence; injuries possibly life-threatening

A woman has been hospitalized with possibly life-threatening injuries after being stabbed early Wednesday morning in west Lawrence, police say. The stabbing was reported about 6:15 a.m. in the 900 block of Essex Court, according to a Lawrence police news release. Arriving officers found a 28-year-old woman who had been stabbed multiple times in her home. Police said the woman was taken by ambulance to an area ...

Police investigate shots fired in Lawrence residential neighborhood

Police want to know who apparently fired a gun multiple times in a residential neighborhood near 23rd Street Tuesday night. About 10:45 p.m., police responded to the area of West 24th and Arkansas streets after multiple people called and reported hearing three or four gunshots, Sgt. Amy Rhoads said in an email. She said officers found shell casings along Arkansas Street just south of 24th. Residents in the ...

KCK man convicted in Lawrence shooting, robbery

A man was convicted Tuesday for shooting another man with his own gun at a Lawrence apartment last year. Rodney L. McNeal, 22, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded no contest to robbery and aggravated battery in the afternoon shooting on March 8, 2018, at 449 Graystone Drive in the Country Club on 6th apartment complex. Both convictions are felonies. McNeal’s sentencing was set for May 21. In addition to serving ...

Request for less prison time delays sentencing for Lawrence man convicted of sex crime against girl

Emphasizing that his client pleaded no contest — as opposed to guilty — a defense attorney now says a Lawrence man should get the lightest possible prison sentence because his child victim’s story wasn’t credible. Robert W. Copas, 36, of Lawrence, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Douglas County District Court for aggravated indecent liberties with an 11-year-old girl. However, Judge James ...

Man faces 30 counts for allegedly stealing batteries from cable boxes in Lawrence

Over a recent five-day span, Quentin R. Sowers allegedly went on a burglary spree. But he wasn’t breaking into homes or businesses. Authorities allege that he was prying open Midco cable boxes all over Lawrence and stealing the batteries from inside. Sowers, 50, of Topeka, now stands charged in Douglas County District Court with 30 counts of theft, burglary and property damage. According to the complaint, ...

'She cares': Crime victim advocate for Douglas County DA's office honored with state award

Cindy Riling said the hardest part of her job guiding crime victims through the court process is seeing firsthand the suffering they go through, which for many will be a lifelong process. The most rewarding part is when people stay in touch down the road to let her know they’re doing OK. “The rewards I get are the people that let me know they’re living their best life,” Riling said. Riling won a ...

Douglas County CASA volunteer honored with statewide award

A woman who’s been volunteering to help children through the court system for the past eight years got a statewide honor for her efforts this week. Karen Warner, a Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, was presented with the Outstanding Community-Based Victim Advocate Award. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt bestowed the honor during the state’s annual Kansas Crime Victims’ Rights ...

Felony charge filed against Lawrence middle schooler accused of threatening school shooting on social media

Story updated at 5:44 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2019: A Lawrence middle schooler has been criminally charged in connection with last week’s report that he threatened on social media to bring guns to school and shoot people. The boy has been charged as a juvenile with one count of criminal threat, a felony, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the Douglas County district attorney. The complaint ...

Lawrence judge drops DUI charge against KU law instructor, KCMO mayoral candidate

Update at 12:18 p.m. Thursday A judge has dismissed a DUI charge against a University of Kansas law instructor who’s now one of two finalists in the race to become mayor of Kansas City, Mo. Quinton D. Lucas, 34, of Kansas City, announced the dismissal Thursday in a news release. Citing insufficient evidence, Lawrence Municipal Court Judge Scott Miller and a city prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case without ...

Man arrested after allegedly walking around downtown naked

Lawrence police arrested a man overnight after he was reportedly seen downtown with no clothes on. About 4 a.m. Thursday, officers first were dispatched to the 800 block of Massachusetts Street, where a naked man was reportedly seen in the alley, Sgt. Amy Rhoads said in an email. She said an officer ended up finding the man, still with no clothes on, at the southern entrance to the Kansas River bridge. The ...

KU museum pulls display of baby T. rex fossil ‘abruptly’ listed on eBay for $2.9 million

Story updated 6:21 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2019: The University of Kansas Natural History Museum this week found itself in the middle of a big flap over a “baby” fossil. The museum pulled a set of juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex bones from public view following criticism about the fossil’s private owner posting it for sale on eBay for $2.95 million — and highlighting KU ties to bolster his pitch. Those ...

Lawrence tow company owner crushed to death while changing tire on baseball team bus

The owner of a Lawrence towing company was killed while changing a tire on a college baseball team’s bus over the weekend. Lawrence resident Kevin Raasch, 53, owned and operated TransMasters Towing and Roadside Recovery for over 30 years, according to his obituary. The fatal accident happened about 12:30 a.m. Sunday on the Baker University campus in Baldwin City, after the Baker baseball team’s matchup ...

Lawrence men seek plea deals in human trafficking, kidnapping case

Two Lawrence men charged in a human trafficking, rape and kidnapping case are trying to work out plea deals with prosecutors, their attorneys said in court Tuesday. BJ Lauri, 44, and John W. Brown, 51, had been scheduled to have preliminary hearings in Douglas County District Court, where their alleged victim would have been called to the witness stand. Instead, both waived those hearings and pleaded not guilty ...