Archive for Friday, September 26, 1997

PRELIMINARY HEARING RESCHEDULED

September 26, 1997

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Prosecutors asked for a three-week continuance for a preliminary hearing on Thursday for five men charged in connection to a gang-related stabbing.

Four men charged in a Sept. 7 fight in which three people were stabbed were released from custody Thursday after prosecutors asked for -- and were granted -- a continuance for a preliminary hearing.

Assistant Dist. Atty. Jerry Little sought the three-week postponement for two reasons: Two key witnesses haven't been located; and the district attorney's office is waiting on reports from the Lawrence Police Department.

Four of the five adult defendants in the case had remained in Douglas County Jail, unable to meet bonds as high as $75,000. The fifth, Michael Scott Blanck, was released on bond two weeks ago.

Ron Schneider, attorney for defendant Jason Robert Freeman, told District Judge Michael Malone that at $75,000 the bond for his client might as well be $1 million.

"He's an 18-year-old young man, working in a job that pays him $6 to $7 an hour," Schneider said. "At this point, my client does not pose a threat to anyone."

Before releasing the four defendants on "own recognizance" bonds, Malone noted the men have been in jail for 18 days. The law requires anyone in custody the right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days unless there is a good cause to postpone the hearing.

The defendants and the charges against them are: Blanck, 18, 1311 Monterey Way, aggravated battery; Freeman, 18, 1717 Vt., and Skyland John Love, 18, 1632 E. 18th, both with three counts of attempted second-degree murder; Richard F. Jarrett Jr., 23, 1402 N.Y., aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery; and James Donald Vick, 18, 1908 E. 19th, aggravated battery.

The five defendants will appear for the rescheduled preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 14. The hearing will determine whether enough evidence exists to warrant a full trial.

As a condition of their release, the defendants are subject to random drug testing and will have a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. They must report daily to a court services officer and live at a residence approved by the court officer.

Two of the stabbing victims were released the week following the incident, which police characterized as gang-related. The third victim, whose spine was struck by the knife, resulting in paralysis in a leg, was released Wednesday from a Kansas City hospital.

Six juveniles have also been arrested in the fight and the stabbings, which occurred in front of a house in the 200 block of Glenview Drive.

Three of them -- Sarah Helen Gottlieb, 16, 1648 Stratford; Anna Rachel Kimbrell, 16, 920 Sunset; and Zach Warren Turner, 17, 1402 N.Y. -- were released from custody and will appear in court again in November.

William Alan Rector, 17, 2111 Maple Ln., is being held at the Northeast Kansas Juvenile Detention Center in Douglas County. Rector, charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, is named as the person who stabbed the three male victims.

Another juvenile was arrested Wednesday night in the incident, but charges had not been filed as of Thursday afternoon, said Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney Tonkovich.

Information on a juvenile who was arrested Sept. 9 was not available, and the prosecutor who works on juvenile cases, Shelly Diehl, is on vacation. Tonkovich said she didn't know if charges were filed for that juvenile.

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