Lawrence police officers testified Thursday in Douglas County District Court that three men accused of robbing a local restaurant on May 13 confessed to the crime shortly after they were arrested.
The testimony came in the third and final day of a preliminary hearing for the men, Southakone Senthavy, 18, and Saymoung Suady, 19, both of Independence, Mo., and Phaly Sok, 19, Kansas City, Mo.
After hearing the testimony, District Judge Ralph M. King Jr. ordered the men to stand trial and scheduled arraignment for June 22.
The men are each charged with eight counts of aggravated robbery and a count of auto theft stemming from the robbery of the Magic Wok restaurant, 1700 W. 23rd.
Authorities said six men three of them armed took cash from the restaurant and patrons during the robbery in which employees and customers were ordered to lie on the floor. Police reported that one man was stabbed and several customers were hit and kicked.
TONY GARCIA, a Lawrence police detective, testified that Sok originally lied to him during an interview May 13 about his involvement in the crime. Garcia testified that Sok told him he had met three other men at an Olathe high school. The men offered him a ride home. Garcia testified that Sok said he fell asleep in the car and woke up as the car was being chased by law enforcement officers.
Later in the interview, Garcia testified, Sok confessed to participating in the robbery.
"He began by saying, `We robbed that place,'" Garcia said.
Garcia testified that Sok told him he guarded employees in the kitchen. Sok, Garcia testified, placed his hand inside his jacket, pretending he had a gun.
Authorities allege that Sok, Suady and Senthavy are among the six people who took part in the robbery. Two juvenile males have been named on juvenile complaints stemming from the incident.
ANOTHER SUSPECT, Phaymany Nouansacky, 19, Independence, Mo., is hospitalized in Fort Collins, Colo., with gunshot wounds he suffered when Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers cornered him May 15 near Laramie.
In other testimony Thursday, law enforcement officers said the men drove a stolen car to Lawrence and that Nouansacky then stole a car from a Kansas University residence hall parking lot when they arrived.
Officers testified that the three defendants and one of the juveniles drove the car stolen from KU to the restaurant. Nouansacky and the other juvenile drove the car stolen in the Kansas City area.
Police detective Mack Pryor testified that Suady told him he acted as the driver and lookout during the robbery.
"He said, in short, that he was the driver and that they had gone to rob the Magic Wok in Lawrence, Kansas, from Olathe," Pryor said.
IN ONE story, Pryor said, Suady denied carrying a gun or entering the restaurant. Suady later changed the story, Pryor testified, to say that he had carried a sawed-off shotgun into the restaurant, then handed it to someone else and went back to the parking lot to act as a lookout.
Detective Susan Hadl testified that Senthavy originally lied to her about the incident, telling her a story similar to Sok's. But later, Hadl testified, Senthavy told her that he went into the kitchen with three other men to guard the employees.
Hadl testified that Senthavy said Suady handed him the shotgun and he remained in the kitchen by himself while the robbery occurred.