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Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Former Fort Leavenworth soldier to be sentenced next month for robbery on KU campus

November 16, 2011

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A 23-year-old former Fort Leavenworth soldier entered a plea to a reduced charge Wednesday in connection with a June robbery of two Kansas University students who were walking on campus.

Brandon James Huggins was convicted of misdemeanor theft after he initially faced several charges in the case, including two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of conspiracy. His childhood friend, Michael Martin Gerald, 21, was sentenced last month to serve 49 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and admitted to committing the June 23 armed robbery of the two male students who were walking along Memorial Drive early that morning. Douglas County prosecutors have said Gerald had come to Lawrence that evening to go bar hopping and then to commit a robbery.

The students testified in court in August that a white man and black man robbed them at gunpoint. Huggins is white, and Gerald is black.

Huggins’ defense attorney Sarah Swain had said Gerald admitted to police her client was not involved in the robbery. Swain had also criticized police for not looking into the possibility a third man who was with Gerald and Huggins that night was involved, but that man was never arrested or charged.

District Judge Paula Martin is scheduled to sentence Huggins on Dec. 12. A Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman has said Huggins, who was a military police officer at the time of the robbery, is no longer a soldier at the fort.

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