Douglas County prosecutors filed two counts of aggravated burglary and two other charges on Wednesday against a 31-year-old Lawrence man accused of entering two northern Lawrence homes early Tuesday while residents were sleeping.
Lawrence police have said they also are trying to determine whether the suspect, Ronald Kenneth Brooks Jr., can be linked to dozens of other similar burglaries in the city in recent months.
Assistant Douglas County District Attorney James McCabria said Wednesday that Brooks had a significant criminal history, including a 2008 assault of a mail carrier in Topeka.
Prosecutors charged Brooks Wednesday with two counts of aggravated burglary, accusing him of entering two local homes through unlocked doors.
In the first burglary, police were called at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday to the 300 block of Northwood Lane. Police said another incident was reported in the same block later Tuesday morning after a resident discovered someone had attempted to open a sliding glass door. Prosecutors did not file any formal charges in connection with that incident.
The second burglary was just before 6 a.m. Tuesday on Woodlawn Drive, southeast of Peterson Road and Princeton Boulevard. The suspect ran from the house, and an officer in the area later apprehended him near Deerfield School. He also faces charges of obstruction and of attempted theft, for trying to steal a purse from one of the houses Tuesday morning.
According to court records and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation offender registry, Brooks received probation for a 2004 lewd and lascivious conviction in Douglas County. Brooks also spent about four years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to aggravated assault on a U.S. Postal carrier in Topeka in 2008 and possessing a gun after he was barred from doing so because of a 2004 Brown County drug conviction.
According to federal court records, Brooks, who had consumed drugs that day, admitted on May 12, 2008, he displayed a handgun as he entered a residence looking for a man, but when he could not find him he went back out to the street, where he confronted a mail carrier, striking him several times in the face, breaking his eye socket and cheekbone.
McCabria said at Brooks’ first appearance Wednesday that federal authorities plan to seek a revocation of his parole in the federal case as well. McCabria said prosecutors here consider Brooks a flight risk, so pro-tem Judge James George agreed to set his bond at $50,000 in the burglary case.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
— Reporter George Diepenbrock can be reached at 832-7144. Follow him at Twitter.com/gdiepenbrock.