A Douglas County judge Tuesday ordered two Kansas City, Kan., men to stand trial on charges in a 2008 Lawrence robbery case.
District Judge Kay Huff made the ruling after Loren Thibodo, a cousin of one of the men, testified at a preliminary hearing that the two defendants, John T. Words, 21, and Christopher J. Jackson, 22, came to Lawrence on Dec. 3, 2008, to rob an alleged drug dealer in the 3400 block of Augusta Drive.
Prosecutors in November charged Jackson and Words with one count each of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and misdemeanor theft. Thibodo, 27, earlier this year as part of a plea agreement pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and received two years of probation in exchange for his testimony in the case.
Lawrence police have said that they believed three suspects were involved and that they took a safe from the home. A woman testified on Monday that one man held a gun to her head and made her get on the ground.
Thibodo said he came to Lawrence but didn’t go into the house that night. He said he saw that Words and Jackson were with another man and that both later returned with the safe. Thibodo alleged Jackson said he had pulled a gun on a woman and then ripped open the safe. The men divided up the marijuana inside. He the safe had $200 inside.
Prosecutors have not identified the third suspect.
Craig Stancliffe, a defense attorney for Words, said prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to show Words participated, but Huff still ordered him to face a trial.
Huff scheduled Jackson’s trial for Feb. 8. The trial for Words is Feb. 15.