Archive for Monday, June 1, 2009

Absent plea deal, trial in car chase that injured officer to begin next week

A Topeka woman accused of striking a Lawrence police officer with her car during a December chase is set to go to trial next week.

June 1, 2009

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Prosecutors have not tried to negotiate a plea deal with a Topeka woman accused of striking a Lawrence police officer with her car during a chase in December.

Attorneys during a hearing Monday morning said they expected next week’s jury trial for Barbara Jo Schnegelsiepen, 28, to proceed. She faces several felony charges, including aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer.

Prosecutors accuse Schnegelsiepen of fleeing police in a stolen car as she was a burglary suspect. Lawrence police officer Doug Payne was struck by a vehicle the morning of Dec. 2 on U.S. Highway 40 east of Big Springs as he was trying to place stop sticks on the highway.

“Frankly, we’d like to enter some kind of plea, but we’ve not been offered anything other than straight-up plea,” Schnegelsiepen’s defense attorney John C. Johnson said.

Douglas County District Judge Peggy Kittel has scheduled the trial to last the entire week.

Prosecutors are expected to present evidence to support their accusations that Schnegelsiepen led officers on a dangerous chase from Lawrence into western Douglas County. She faces seven felony charges and three misdemeanor counts.

The trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection next Monday morning.

Comments

nekansan 5 years, 12 months ago

“Frankly, we’d like to enter some kind of plea, but we’ve not been offered anything other than straight-up plea,”

I hope this means that the prosecution has an airtight case. This woman should never be allowed to pull a stunt like this again. I also hope that the judge offers no leniency at sentencing since she has made no effort to accept full responsibility for her actions.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 12 months ago

Throw her a bone and dump the three misdemeanor counts, if that saves a trial. But then again, I bet the police department are pushing the DA to get as many years as possible.

somebodynew 5 years, 12 months ago

And this is a sad commentary on how the justice system works in Douglas County that the defense attorney seems surprized they aren't automatically offered a plea deal.

Of course if Johnson wasn't such an ***, maybe he would ask and not act like he is so high and mighty that the prosection should come to him begging for a deal. I thought that was supposed to be the other way around.

Thank you DA Office for standing up.!!

nekansan 5 years, 12 months ago

I don't know that I'd give the DA an award for his tough stance in this case. It's much more likely that the PD is expecting, as they should, that there not be any leniency for this woman's actions

purplesage 5 years, 12 months ago

Why are the caveats always present about the lives and safety of law enforcement officers? Are they more sacred or valuable than the rest of the lives at risk?

She rised lives, her own and others. That is all we should have to say.

dweezil222 5 years, 12 months ago

cheeseburger (Anonymous) says…

srj -

Do you blame anyone for seeking 'as many years as possible'? Do you remember the incident? She exhibited a wanton disregard for the lives of many people, including the law enforcement officers. Let's start holding people accountable for ALL their crimes - NO plea bargaining!.

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If you want to do that, be prepared to accept the consequences of that choice. The notion of a "speedy trial" will go completely out the window as delays plague the system, and be prepared to shell out more money in taxes to pay for many more expensive trials.

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