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Archive for Monday, December 12, 2011

Douglas County prosecutors seek to withdraw kidnapping charge against robbery suspect

December 12, 2011

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Douglas County prosecutors Monday asked to dismiss a kidnapping charge against a 23-year-old Richmond man accused of participating in two Lawrence robberies.

Deborah Moody, an assistant district attorney, made the motion in the case of Mikael Englund after the victim, a Lawrence man, testified at a preliminary hearing. Prosecutors accuse Englund of robbing the man at his home in the 800 block of Hilltop Drive twice — the first time either in late January or early February this year and the second time on March 14. District Judge Paula Martin also heard evidence Monday in a preliminary hearing for Dustin A. Smith, 24, also of Richmond, who was also accused of participating in the March 14 robbery with Englund and a juvenile.

The suspects are accused of targeting the man for marijuana he testified was medicinal due to a health condition.

Trenton Rowsey, 19, of Ottawa, has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aggravated burglary and received a 32-month prison sentence for his role in the first robbery. A juvenile also had his case adjudicated in September after he entered a plea for the second robbery. Smith’s attorney, Branden Smith, said in court the juvenile suspect who testified last week was not a credible witness.

The victim testified Rowsey and a man he identified as Englund robbed him that night in late January or early February, and he said in mid-March three men, Englund and two other men he couldn’t identify, injured him and robbed him at his residence. The victim did not report the crimes to police until after the second robbery.

Lawrence police Detective M.T. Brown testified Englund admitted to being involved in both robberies, but defense attorney Angela Keck said she questioned whether the interview would be inadmissible in court because Englund was interviewed late at night after he’d been awake for several hours.

Martin said Monday she wanted to review the transcript of the victim’s testimony before making a ruling about whether Smith and Englund should face a trial.

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