A Douglas County judge Tuesday sentenced a 21-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman to serve two years on probation for her role in a December crime spree in Lawrence.
Ashley C. Johnson had pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit robbery and misdemeanor theft in September as prosecutors alleged she drove a vehicle the night of Dec. 28 as two co-defendants committed robberies in Lawrence. They also accused Johnson of stealing a Lawrence woman’s bank card earlier at It’s Brothers, 1105 Mass.
Johnson on Tuesday said during the six months she’s spent in jail she had been not using drugs or alcohol, which had contributed to her behavior. She said she would live with her grandparents and work to follow terms of her probation.
“As long as she can stay clean and keep out of trouble she can be part of her children’s lives,” her defense attorney Karan Thadani said.
Prosecutors say Johnson that night was with two co-defendants who were arrested earlier this month on charges related to that night.
Raymond Cortez Morgan, 27, Michael A. Howard, 20, both of Kansas City, Kan., are accused of robbing a 20-year-old Lawrence man at gunpoint late on Dec. 28 in the 300 block of West 12th Street, and Howard is accused of injuring a 22-year-old female Kansas University student and robbing her of her purse hours later on Dec. 29 in the 800 block of Tennessee Street.
Johnson is expected to testify at the Oct. 21 preliminary hearing for the two men. Howard during an earlier court appearance denied being in Lawrence before.
District Judge Michael Malone ordered Johnson to pay $934 restitution in the case and said if she’s successful her probation term could be cut short.
“You’re young. You seem to have a new motivation,” Malone said, “and hopefully that would happen.”