Archive for Friday, June 18, 2010

Bond set at $500,000 for man accused in brutal attack on bike path

The man arrested for stabbing and attempting to rape a woman on a Lawrence bike path was given the most serious of charges in court Friday. The man's bond was set at $500,000 and he is scheduled to appear back in court on Tuesday.

June 18, 2010


A man accused in the attack of a young woman on a Lawrence bike path made his first appearance before a Douglas County judge Friday afternoon.

William E. Nichols, 30, Lawrence, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, attempted rape and aggravated battery in connection with the Wednesday afternoon attack on a 23-year-old woman on the South Lawrence Trafficway bike path.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said the charges were the most severe he could file in the case, with aggravated kidnapping carrying a maximum sentence of more than 50 years in prison, depending on a defendant’s criminal record.

Lawrence police officers captured Nichols after a brief manhunt Wednesday near the scene of the incident between the Youth Sports Complex and the Clinton Lake dam.

William Nichols appeared in District Court on June 18.

William Nichols appeared in District Court on June 18.

Prosecutors believe he grabbed the woman off her bicycle with the intent to rape her. During the course of the attack, the victim was stabbed multiple times. Two teenagers who were running on the path intervened to stop the attack.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson asked the judge to set Nichols’ bond at $500,000, given the severity of the crime and what Branson called “the utter randomness” of the attack.

“The sheer randomness of this crime deserves a high bond,” Branson said after the hearing. “This is a stranger crime, a crime committed at random in broad daylight. We believe the public is at risk if this person is out and about.”

Branson also expects more charges could be filed in the case, after police discovered that Nichols matches the description of a man who groped two women, also in their 20s, in separate incidents since April 15.

“I anticipate that based on their preliminary investigation and what they’ve informed me, that there is the potential for additional charges,” Branson said.

Judge Peggy Kittel followed the district attorney’s recommendation, setting Nichols’ bond at $500,000 and ordering the suspect to have no contact with any witnesses in the case.

Nichols said little during the hearing, other than that he has a daughter he supports and held down a job up until he was arrested for this crime.

The judge appointed defense attorney Michael Clarke to represent Nichols and ordered that he appear back in court Tuesday morning with his attorney.


50YearResident 5 years ago

I guess at 1/2 million dollar bond he will be sitting in jail for a while. If he did get out on bond he would never be seen again in Kansas. So keep the Dirt Bag locked up.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

The Kansas Constitution requires that bail be set in all but capital cases. Article 9 of our Bill of Rights.

1029 5 years ago

500K? That's it?!

....I don't know. That guy looks pretty wealthy--at least from the picture the LJ-W published of him when he was arrested. I bet he's back out in the woods by tomorrow morning. Sad.

whats_going_on 5 years ago

if every crackhead in Lawrence puts in 5 bucks....

well, maybe. hope not. :\

been_there 5 years ago

He sure wasn't worried about the daughter of two other people when he attacked her. For that matter I would love to know how much support he has actually provided his daughter.

Richard Payton 5 years ago

The Defense attorney would not want a change of venue to Utah. I believe the people of Douglas County will follow the instructions from the Judge and find the justice we all hope for.

JMG 5 years ago

I thought I read previously that the LJWorld policy was not publishing the name of a suspect in a sex crime until they were convicted...yet the charges in this case include attempted rape (a sex crime). Has that policy changed?

kernal 5 years ago

Perhaps because the charge is attempted rape, not rape.

Evan Ridenour 5 years ago

Like all LjWorld policies it only applies when it is convenient.

amrcngrl75 5 years ago

Ummmm...if you don't like LJW why would you spend your time reading it and commenting on the blog? Seriously? Pretty lame IMO.

Frank Hays 5 years ago

I like the comment of sending this scum to Utah and having his testicles shot off in a firing squad. The Lawrence Police need to get a lot tougher on this type of scum in our town and run them off to place less desirable. Columbia, MO sounds like a good place for these homeless street urchins that panhandle their drug money on Mass St.. to congregate. Back in the 1930's police moved these shiftless worthless pieces of monkey vomit on to other communities. I think it is time to bring these policies back instead of Lawrence welcoming this type of scumbag into our community to victimize innocent people. What do you think? Break out the nightsticks Lawrence PD and get to work!!!!!!

rousseau108 5 years ago

It's not the LPD's fault, they're the ones who actually go out and arrest all these people. Complain about the DA's office that pleads down or dismisses everything and sends these people right back to the streets to do it all over again. Why no story on the release of the bum who threatened people with an F'n RAILROAD SPIKE in front of Free State? He's back downtown hassling people again. Wait for cycle of crime, arrest, release, repeat to begin again.

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years ago

FYI - He doesn't have to come up with $500,000 to actually get out of jail; you're only required to post 10% of the bond amount, so, in this case, $50,000 and he's back on the trail...

whats_going_on 5 years ago

whats the point of even saying 500,000 then? Why not just 50,000? I'm confused

Bursting 5 years ago

I thought tat the 10% was the standard charge from Bond Companies.

I think we can feel confident that no company will cover the othe 450k while old boy escapes never to be seen again.

BlackVelvet 5 years ago

actually, I think if he were to get a bondsman to post his bond, (the entire 500K) he would pay the bondsman a nonrefundable 50K. that's where the 10% comes in.

been_there 5 years ago

Does anyone know how much Jaeger's bond was?

Frank Hays 5 years ago

Yea, you are probably right. When these meth addicts are released the police should drive them to Charles Branson's neighborhood and release them there instead of downtown. Let these scum congregate in his neighborhood as well as the neighborhoods of the people that work for him. Things have to change as we can't continue to coddle these dirtbags and expect different results. Why do these undesirables land in Lawrence - because we don't do anything to move them along.

Frank Hays 5 years ago

Yea, you are probably right. When these meth addicts are released the police should drive them to Charles Branson's neighborhood and release them there instead of downtown. Let these scum congregate in his neighborhood as well as the neighborhoods of the people that work for him. Things have to change as we can't continue to coddle these dirtbags and expect different results. Why do these undesirables land in Lawrence - because we don't do anything to move them along.

somebodynew 5 years ago

Well actually, if the Police released them in Branson's neighborhood it WOULD be in downtown, as he doesn't live far from there.

And, trust me, the Police would like nothing more than forcing them to move to another community. But can you imagine the outrage that would erupt from people like Hilda and the many other like minded do-gooders in this town??? It would be totally extreme.

independent_rebel 5 years ago

The police's hands are tied, as are the hands of the majority of Lawrence residents sick of the vocal minority in this town that have turned Lawrence into a destination location for career homeless animals such as this man. We can stop this by electing people who are against any funding for the homeless, by convincing people to stop donating money to the LCS, and to demand accountability to ensure that what funding is provided to them be used for individuals who are recently have become homeless (recent loss of job, etc.) or have children, with the caveat that no matter the situation, an individual or family apply for assistance must prove they have lived in Lawrence for several preceding years. Whatever "help" we can do for the homeless population that may deserve our help is obscured by the very fact that too much money is provided to the career homeless who have no intention of changing their loser ways. If our taxpayer money is being used to subsidize the LCS or any other agency, we must elect those who will withold future donations unless the funds are specifically targeted to direct support for those for whom homelessness is a recent, temporary situation, and who are from the city of Lawrence.

Will Babbit 5 years ago

Well, I can certainly spot one person who's never been hard up for money...

Bursting 5 years ago

Just out of curiosity, where did the article say this man was homeless? I've never seen him on the streets before, and that seems like such an odd location. Do many homeless people hang out along that bike path?

Sita 5 years ago

A few months ago I began to see a lot of homeless people crossing the bypass at the stoplight. I'm not sure where they are staying out there. I see them in the morning leaving, and returning in the late afternoon. That's when I stopped using that path.

Andrew Applegarth 5 years ago

I haven't been out there for a year or two, but there used to be a camp by the north end of the dam. Even though it was right by the lake and close to the road across the dam, it was in a fairly thick stand of brush and trees and easy to miss. In the spots where there were gaps in the trees, they filled it in by running long limbs between the trees and then weaving branches in to form a wall. It was a fairly nice camp and even had a swing hanging from one of the trees. I know that I walked by it several times before I stumbled across it by accident when I tried cutting through the trees instead of following the curve of the shoreline.

Mari Aubuchon 5 years ago

I wanted to restate that his man is not homeless. According to the sheriff's report, he lives in the trailer court on N Michigan.

been_there 5 years ago

Just because he gave an address does not mean it is really where he lives. I think other posters have in fact posted that they know he is homesless or was.

Mari Aubuchon 5 years ago

I have not seen anyone post that they actually know that he is homeless. Someone seems to have made the assumption and others ran with it. I think it started because of his dirty and disheveled appearance in the news footage. According to the same news broadcast, he moved here just a couple of months ago and has a job.

I just wanted to make this point because the discussion seems to have veered from a discussion of crime to dealing with the homeless.

BruceWayne 5 years ago

before all the " wait till he is with big Bubba in a cell".. the perp is wearing a green jail jumper. he is alone in a cell being classified. he will be given a yellow jumper and kept in ad seg with the other sex offenders. not so sure how it works once he is sentenced and goes to the pen. if the county would just throw them in general population we as tax payers could all but be assured justice would be served. again, hats off to the two young men that stopped this from being much worse(although this attack is still terrible) and a big way to go for the young lady that fought this sick freak until help arrived.

notanoobhere 5 years ago

save us all the money that will be wasted on trial, he was caught red handed trying to rape and murder a woman, please spend the $0.50 on a bullet and shoot the scum bag. He should have never made it out of the woods alive, not everyone should be entitled to do process.

Majestic42 5 years ago

He was super lucky he didn't get caught by someone with a CCW-license.

notanoobhere 5 years ago

Forget the ccw anyone with a bat or big rock would have done just fine.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Oh yeah. Pull out his concealed carry license and wave it at him. That would have been useful :-)

Two unarmed young men did a fine job. No guns needed. Just guts and heart.

Majestic42 5 years ago

The CCW-license was implying that person holding the license would have been carrying a gun, dolt. And sometimes yes, guns are needed.

FrancescaPFurbottom 5 years ago

What a horrific ordeal....I hope this girl will be okay.

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

Unfortunately I've known this guy for about 10 years. Never met him in person but knew him thru yahoo chat. I haven't spoken to him in over a year. He has had past issues with inappropriate behavior where underaged girls are concerned. At least 2 incidents that he told me of. Of course it was always a "misunderstanding" according to him. That led me to cut ties with him. Very creepy. He has a young daughter and I just hope and pray that she was never a victim. Fortunately she is with her mother and rarely if ever saw this dirt bag. As far as supporting that child I can say with almost 100% certainty that he almost never sent any. I'm sure there is much more to this story as far as others coming forward etc. I'm guessing that some may come forward now because they know they would be safe from him now that he's in jail. I hope he never ever gets out. Vile pig.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Sorry, but Yahoo Messaging with a total stranger you've never met doesn't constitute "knowing" them. Or even knowing if it is them. In fact, IMing a total stranger for 10 years sounds pretty creepy all by itself.

By the way, this attack and the other assults he may have been involved in did not involve underaged girls. The guy is 30. The women are in their 20s. That doesn't sound like a pedophile. Just a sadistic rapist.

You got a real story to tell...go tell it to the cops or the DA.

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

The incidents he TOLD ME HIMSELF about DID involve underaged girls. He always claimed to be the victim of a misunderstanding. Thanks for trying to look so informed though.

lawenforcer2010 5 years ago

Newswatcher is right I am that mother to the child he so wants to claim now that his butt is on fire he is only saying he has a daughter now because he thinks it will get him a lighter sentence lets hope not.. He is without a doubt a psyopath he has never paid child support nor has he seen my child in two years she doesn't know him and after this she will never know him as long as I have any say so in it. He has never had a home he only bummed off of people and as far as holding a job down he can tell that lie to someone else he couldnt hld a job down for more than two weeks. I have no respect for an individual like this If they can't kill him I pray he gets the full 50 years only sad part is our tax dollars will supply this sick individual a place to stay cable to watch lights and food not to mention all the other stuff they supply in prisoand it does not matter how old or young a person is this was wrong and it deserves the highest pentalty possible. He was just a time bomb waiting to explode and hopefully because he already has a criminal record this will help get the highest penalty.

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

I agree Red. I'm sorry your daughter has him for a father. You will do what's best to keep her safe from all of this I'm sure of it.

Countrykitten 5 years ago

I can only imagine what ur feeling red. That mono txt Mofo on Facebook a week ago didn't know who the Hell it was cuz i damn sure didn't remember adding him. He said he was gettin ready to move back near u n his daughter. Hopefully that mofo stays locked up. That's just crazy. Sick mother f`r. -Linds

lawenforcer2010 5 years ago

let us all pray that for once in our lives the court sentence works in our favor, and no I don't think GA is the place for this sick individual to come back to. He has done some pretty low lifed crap over the years but this is beyond sick I only hope the female will be ok and be able to get on with her life. It takes a gutless man to attack a female anyways if he had ever tried me like that or my kids they would have carried him out in a body bag wouldn't be no wasting state dollars there.

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

It's not clear if he has a shiner in the video of the cops taking him to the car. I hope they clubbed the crap out of him once they got him out of sight.

Russell Fryberger 5 years ago

Why does bond even exist for scum like this that is 100% guilty? He should already be shot in the head or at least locked far away where we don't have to see or hear any more about him. But I know, there are those that will say "we can give him a few years room and board and maybe he will be better when we let him loose".

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

Uh acornwebworks? This is a disccussion board I'll post my opinions and thoughts about him if i choose to. I never claimed to have any info that would be relevant to a cop. It IS HIM I've seen this man on webcam many times along with his daughter and his daughters mother and I have many mutual friends who know him from chat AND in person so I'm not sure why you're so worried about my association with him. Could it be that you harbor some jealousy that you have no connection to this story what so ever and are lashing out? Seriously dude I was just interjecting what I know of this guy. You can run your mouth all day long and it won't change the fact that I know him, have talked to him and his former girlfriend in chat and over the phone. We all once shared what we considered to be a friendship until I started noticing his "creepy" coming out. I know you thought your comment was very witty and scathing. Not so much but thanks for tryin'.

Paula Kissinger 5 years ago

To JMG..rape is NOT a sex crime - it is a crime of violence.

To defenestrator...see above statement and, due to that, even if castrated most of these sociopaths would then, just do "regular" physical harm to someone.

I have a feeling that this guy is going to be seeing the inside of a penal facility for the remainder of his days....

NewsWatcher2010 5 years ago

I hope you're right PItBullGrandma. There are more charges to come because of the other two assaults in prior days.

Soup2Nuts 5 years ago

Does anyone know how the victim is doing? I would hope the LJW would give an update on her condition since we're all more worried about her than this creep.

Paula Kissinger 5 years ago

I am right, NewsWatcher2010. Rape is fueled by an uncontrollable desire for control through violence. This one is aggravated due to the weapon and holding someone against their will with a weapon involved is aggravated kidnapping. Whatever else the DA wants to file is up to him on the previous reports but those 2 charges on this dirtbag in this case will stick and he will get, if this is his 1st known offense, around 20 years.

Paula Kissinger 5 years ago

I am right, NewsWatcher2010. Rape is fueled by an uncontrollable desire for control through violence. This one is aggravated due to the weapon and holding someone against their will with a weapon involved is aggravated kidnapping. Whatever else the DA wants to file is up to him on the previous reports but those 2 charges on this dirtbag in this case will stick and he will get, if this is his 1st known offense, around 20 years.

Paula Kissinger 5 years ago

Sorry about I know how double postings occur...because it does not show up in the feed so you hit the post button again.

Hey to the tech guys about this, OK ? Thanks.

Trouble 5 years ago

We teach our kids to travel in pairs or even more. I beleive young adults and the old we all need to travel in pairs. Just to stay safe. This town and this world is out of control.

somebodynew 5 years ago

Hey jkealing - "Why does this thing get to keep posting on multiple threads ??? Can't you guys ban IP addresses or something ?? Maybe he/she is just too smart for ya ?? It just really P***s'es me off seeing ads for something on every story;. I know they use a different "name", but please, I tried that once and it didn't work, so I don't see how this person is different.

jayhawk2003 5 years ago


Kelly Johnson 5 years ago

That area was my favorite section of the bike path, but I think I'm going to be finding a new spot. I feel so bad for the victim in this case, it must have been terrifying to be attacked like that. I hope she recovers soon, although emotionally/mentally I'm sure it will take a long time.

notanoobhere 5 years ago

We have to stop calling them teenagers, those 2 are real men, they saw a horrible act being committed and step up like a real man should and saved that poor womans life. Good job men hopefully the rest of Lawrence sees this and steps up to the plate. If you see something going on that is not right small or large step up and stop these POS from getting away with it.

Kris_H 5 years ago

Anybody who does what this dirtbag did is a dirtbag--homeless or not, married or not, child or not, job or not. Dirtbag.

I noticed the creep looked like somebody beat on him a little. Somewhere I did read the woman was trying to fight him off too, I hope at least some of the damage came from her.

I'd love to buy those two guys a beer, but unfortunately they're not old enough. Maybe a Red Bull. :)

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