A 19-year-old man who refused a plea bargain from prosecutors who would have dropped six of the nine felony charges filed against him was found guilty today on all counts stemming from the May 13 armed robbery of a local Chinese restaurant.
The verdict ended a 2 -day trial for the man, Saymoung Suady of Independence, Mo., that was scheduled after he turned down a deal from the Douglas County district attorney's office to drop six charges if he pleaded guilty to three.
Suady was one of six people accused of robbing the Magic Wok restaurant, 1800 W. 23rd, and taking cash from several patrons on Mother's Day.
SUADY WAS one of three adults arrested locally in connection with the crime. The other two, Southakone Senthavy, 18, Independence, Mo., and Phaly Sok, 19, Kansas City, Mo., received the same plea bargain offer from prosecutors. Senthavy and Sok took the deal and each pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated robbery.
Suady's attorney, John Chappell of Lawrence, said his client refused the deal because "it involved pleading guilty to more criminal charges than he felt he was guilty of."
Chappell said his client testified that he entered the restaurant and went to the kitchen. He denied robbing any customers.
"But even though he may not have personally robbed any customers, under the law the jury could and did find him guilty based on his participation in the kitchen," Chappell said.
THE SEVEN-MAN, five-woman jury deliberated for five hours before returning the verdict about 10 a.m. today. After the announcement was made, Douglas County District Judge Ralph M. King Jr. scheduled sentencing for Nov. 2.
Douglas County Assistant Dist. Atty. Jerry Wells said he was surprised the jury spent that much time in deliberation. He attributed the long deliberation to the fact that jurors heard testimony from 20 witnesses and were presented a large number of instructions.