Archive for Friday, September 29, 1995

LAWRENCE MAN CONVICTED OF ARSON

September 29, 1995

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A Douglas County jury spent about 15 minutes in deliberations Thursday before finding a Lawrence man guilty of charges stemming from an attempted arson of a car last May.

Michael E. Vick, 21, is to return to court Oct. 20 for sentencing on charges of conspiracy to commit arson and attempted arson. The charges stemmed from a May 12 incident when a gasoline-filled bottle was stuffed with a lighted rag and thrown at a vehicle that was parked in the 3300 block of Iowa.

The police report indicated the bottle struck the vehicle, bounced off and hit the ground before it broke and erupted into flames.

After the verdict was announced, Ben Wood, Vick's attorney, challenged prosecutors to file perjury charges against a man who testified for the state during Vick's trial.

Wood alleged that the man perjured himself several times during his testimony. As an example, Wood said the man testified at trial that Vick told him he blew up a car. At Vick's preliminary hearing, the man testified Vick didn't say he blew up a car.

Other examples of the man's alleged perjured testimony involved his statements to the jury about his prior criminal record and whether he was on probation, Wood said.

"Basically he was willing to say whatever words were put into his mouth by the state," Wood said.

Wood also said he planned to appeal his client's Thursday arson conviction and one late last month when Vick was convicted of attempting to kill a Lawrence man early July 12 by shooting into the car the man was driving near 25th and Louisiana streets.

When informed of Wood's allegations concerning the perjured testimony, Dan Dunbar, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Vick, said, "I'll advise the district attorney of Mr. Wood's allegation and he'll proceed accordingly."

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