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Archive for Friday, September 9, 2011

Third suspect arrested in December armed robbery in Lawrence

September 9, 2011, 10:53 a.m. Updated September 9, 2011, 4:50 p.m.

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Douglas County law enforcement officials have arrested a third suspect in connection with a December crime spree that included an alleged robbery near downtown Lawrence.

According to jail records, Michael A. Howard, 20, of Kansas City, Kan., was booked into jail Thursday on a warrant charging two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated battery and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. Lawrence police records show Howard’s arrest is connected to the cases of two co-defendants, Ashley C. Johnson and Raymond Cortez Morgan.

On Tuesday, police arrested Morgan, 27, of Kansas City, Kan., on a warrant charging him with aggravated robbery in connection with the Dec. 28 armed robbery of a 20-year-old Lawrence man in the 300 block of West 12th Street. Prosecutors also accuse Howard of injuring a 22-year-old female Kansas University student and robbing her of her purse about 1:15 a.m. Dec. 29 in the 800 block of Tennessee Street.

During his first appearance Friday afternoon, Douglas County prosecutors said they believed he had past convictions for attempted aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and making a criminal threat.

Howard said he suffered from schizophrenia and had spent time at both Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals. He denied ever being in Lawrence before.

“I believe someone used my name and someone used my fingerprints with my name,” Howard said before pro-tem judge James George urged him to talk about the allegations with his lawyer.

Johnson, 21, also of Kansas City, Kan., in September pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit robbery and misdemeanor theft in connection with the crime spree that evening. Prosecutors allege she drove a vehicle during the 12th Street robbery and also had stolen a woman’s bank card earlier that night at It’s Brothers, 1105 Mass. Morgan and Howard, who are both being held on $50,000 bond, are scheduled to appear in court again Wednesday.

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