Archive for Friday, December 17, 2010

Defendant in shootings at The Exchange enters no-contest pleas

December 17, 2010


A 28-year-old Lawrence man on Friday pleaded no-contest to six counts of aggravated battery for firing a gun on Aug. 1 into a south Lawrence apartment and injuring six people.

Sinh Lavongsa and his attorney reached the deal with prosecutors Friday afternoon ahead of his trial scheduled for Monday.

Prosecutors accused him of firing a handgun eight times into an apartment in the early morning hours at The Exchange, 3100 Ousdahl Road.

Prosecutors agreed to amend earlier charges that included attempted second-degree murder counts.

According to court records and earlier testimony, Lavongsa told police in an interview he went to the apartment because he thought someone was being jumped. Prosecutors allege Lavongsa fired the handgun at the 28-year-old man in the doorway when the man yelled a racial slur at him.

But they say he fired eight times and also hit five other people who were either inside or near the apartment.

None of the victims’ injuries was life threatening.

Defense attorney Craig Stancliffe had argued at an earlier hearing that Lavongsa should have only faced a single count of shooting into an occupied dwelling, but District Judge Michael Malone ruled against him on that issue last week.

Malone convicted Lavongsa of one count of intentional aggravated battery for shooting at the 28-year-old man and five counts of reckless aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for injuring the other shooting victims.

James McCabria, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, said prosecutors plan to seek the maximum sentence of seven years and two months in prison. McCabria said the victims in the case were relieved they would not have to testify at a trial.

Stancliffe said Lavongsa is a citizen of Thailand who immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was 2. Based on the convictions in this case, the attorneys and Malone told Lavongsa that federal officials would likely deport him to Thailand once he finishes his prison sentence.

Malone is scheduled to sentence Lavongsa Feb. 4.


Mean_Green 7 years, 6 months ago

Non-immigrant in possession of a firearm should get him a few more years behind bars before being deported, if the feds wish to go for it.

PrettyTony 7 years, 6 months ago years isn't enough? Its not like he killed anyone. Are Non-immigrants not allowed to possess guns or something?? Mean Green is a non-immigrant not able to be registered to carry a firearm?

Mean_Green 7 years, 6 months ago

Certain non-immigrants could be granted temp. permits to possess firearms (hunting trips here in the US or foreign Olympic teams participating in shooting sports). Gun ownership is strictly reserved for US Citizens or naturalized US Citizens. If you're not legally able to vote, you can't reap the benefit of the 2nd Ammendment. Until naturalized, immigrants and non-immigrants can't vote legally.

jafs 7 years, 6 months ago

And yet, at the same time, the Immigration questionnaire about who's entitled to constitutional rights maintains that anyone living in the country is the correct answer.

There's a bit of a conflict there.

grimpeur 7 years, 6 months ago

He should just claim he didn't see the victims and that he wasn't aware that he'd shot anyone.

mdrndgtl 7 years, 6 months ago

Shooting into an occupied dwelling? Seriously?

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