A Douglas County judge Monday ordered a 22-year-old Lawrence man to stand trial for a December robbery at Walmart and a failed scheme to try to set a Lawrence McDonald’s restaurant on fire.
District Judge Michael Malone scheduled an Oct. 24 trial for Lonnie S. Schaefer, who faces charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated arson and two conspiracy counts. At a June preliminary hearing, prosecutors accused Schaefer of orchestrating a scheme to rob the money center at Walmart, 3300 Iowa, the night of Dec. 13 with William O. Patterson, 19, who has pleaded guilty and received nearly five years in prison.
Patterson admitted to using a plastic BB gun to rob a clerk.
Before the robbery, prosecutors say, Schaefer threw a bottle with flammable liquid inside it on the roof of McDonald’s, 1309 W. Sixth St., in an effort to create a diversion. But the bottle only caused a small burn that wasn’t discovered until the next day.
Another man, Andrew Dean Schmutz, 21, has pleaded no-contest to conspiracy to commit robbery because he said he served as a lookout for the robbery.