Rather than face a trial, a 20-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man pleaded guilty Thursday morning to lying to police officers in connection with an incident that caused chaos on April 30 in a Kansas University residence hall.
Samuel L. Moore waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Douglas County District Court and pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction, a felony, and one count of criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.
“That was one of our conditions. He had to own up to what he’s done, the trouble that was caused, and the vast expense of resources because he concocted his story,” Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said.
Greg Benefiel, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, said in court that Moore initially gave police a fake name as they searched for a man who was said to have a gun in McCollum Hall that afternoon. KU public safety officers locked down KU’s largest dorm for several hours searching for the suspect.
Benefiel also gave this account of events in court Thursday:
• Police converged on McCollum Hall when a student told housing staff she had heard an argument between a man and a woman in a neighboring room. She said she then heard a male voice say, “Where’s my gun?”
• Officers spoke with the resident next door involved in the argument who said she left her door unlocked, found a black man inside who pulled a gun on her and pulled her into the hallway before running down the hall into the east stairwell.
• When police initially spoke to Moore, he told them his name was “Glenn Mitchell,” and that he saw the suspect on top of the young woman before he ran away down the stairwell.
• Moore also told police he received a text message from a cousin who told him the suspect might be at McDonald’s on 23rd Street.
• KU officers later examined a photo they took of Moore when he said he was “Glenn Mitchell” and determined that he was Moore. Moore had also received a ban letter from KU officials to stay off the campus more than a year earlier.
Branson said Moore had two theft convictions from 2008 and 2009 — one a felony and the other a misdemeanor — that both occurred on campus.
“He knew he was in trouble by being there, and he tried to get out of trouble by creating even more trouble,” Branson said.
• Days after the incident occurred, KU officials said Moore was actually the man involved in the original domestic incident in the dorm room. Branson said his office was still reviewing a report that the woman involved falsely reported a crime to police.
Moore has been in custody in the Douglas County Jail since he turned himself in two days after the McCollum Hall incident.
“I think it’s better for him and the state to resolve it in the manner that we’re talking about,” defense attorney John Johnson said in court.
Douglas County District Judge Sally Pokorny convicted Moore of the two charges. According to state sentencing guidelines, Moore will likely face probation on the obstruction conviction.
Pokorny revoked Moore’s probation in the two prior theft cases from 2008 and 2009. Pokorny will sentence Moore on June 25.
Branson said prosecutors don’t expect Moore to face prison time, but they will be asking Pokorny to give him some “shock time” or jail time based on all three cases.
“He could be looking at additional county jail time past the time he’s already been in custody,” Branson said.