Jurors convict Baldwin City driver of reckless aggravated battery for hitting bicyclist south of Lawrence

A Douglas County jury on Wednesday convicted a Baldwin City man of reckless aggravated battery for striking and injuring a bicyclist last July south of Lawrence.

Jurors did not find Scott A. Young guilty of the most severe charge he faced, intentional aggravated battery.

A prosecutor during closing arguments said Young, 48, intentionally struck cyclist Rob Wilshusen with his truck because he was angry about a group of cyclists on the road and wanted to make a point.

“That makes it clear to the officers (during an interview) what his intention was when he was passing those cyclists,” said James McCabria, an assistant Douglas County district attorney.

Young’s defense attorney said his client regretted yelling at the cyclists as he passed them but wasn’t aware at the time that he struck anyone. Defense attorney Rick Frydman said Young veered back into his lane on East 1400 Road — an extension of Louisiana Street south of Broken Arrow Park — because he was approaching a hill and he couldn’t see if oncoming traffic was a threat.

“What I would say is the evidence shows that Scott Young was trying to get back into the lane,” Frydman said.

During the trial, which began Monday, a group of Lawrence cyclists testified that Young came upon the group on July 15, 2010, yelled obscenities at them and then struck Wilshusen, who fell and suffered injuries to his shoulder, back and hip.

But Young testified Tuesday that he wasn’t aware he had struck anyone and that he was trying to move back into the right lane after passing the group.

Young remains free on bond, and District Judge Michael Malone is scheduled to sentence him April 8.

Jurors convicted him of the lesser charge, but he would have likely faced probation either way unless he has a significant criminal history.