A 20-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man who is accused of robbing two Kansas University students last December and striking one female student in the face, pleaded not guilty to several charges Wednesday.
District Judge Michael Malone set Michael Howard’s trial for Jan. 17. He faces two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated battery, one count of criminal possession of a firearm and one count of conspiracy. During a preliminary hearing last week, prosecutors accused Howard of using a gun to rob a male KU student Dec. 28 as the KU student was walking in an alley in the 300 block of 12th Street. They also accused him of punching a 22-year-old female KU student in the face and robbing her about 1:15 a.m. Dec. 29 as she was walking in the 800 block of Tennessee Street. The woman suffered a concussion and three facial fractures.
A co-defendant, Ashley C. Johnson, 21, also of Kansas City, Kan., has received probation in the case, and she testified last week that she came to Lawrence that night with Howard and Raymond Cortez Morgan, 27, also of Kansas City, Kan., to commit crimes for money. Morgan, who is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, aggravated robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, has a trial scheduled for Dec. 12.
Howard has denied he was in Lawrence that night.