Archive for Monday, August 20, 2012

No-contest plea entered in local parking lot incident

August 20, 2012


A 22-year-old Leavenworth man pleaded no contest Monday to two counts of aggravated assault for using a vehicle as a weapon outside a Lawrence bar last year.

Defense attorney Sarah Swain said Monday she believed Mardo Wayne Johnson Jr. will receive probation in the case because he has no significant criminal history.

Johnson initially was charged last October with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminally discharging a firearm after the Oct. 9 incident in the parking lot of the former Taste Lounge, Bar and Grill, 804 W. 24th St. Police and prosecutors initially alleged he fired shots during the incident.

However, prosecutor David Melton, a chief assistant district attorney, said Monday in court that Johnson became involved in an argument with two people in the parking lot. Johnson then returned to a vehicle and drove directly at two people.

“The car was driven towards them intentionally, causing them to be afraid of suffering bodily harm,” Melton said.

Swain said Johnson agreed to face two years in prison, but both sides expect him to qualify for probation. She said he would also agree to undergo a mental health evaluation and act on its recommendations.

A co-defendant Spencer S. Hildebrandt, also of Leavenworth, who faced an obstruction charge in the case, has applied for diversion.

District Judge Kay Huff is scheduled to sentence Johnson at 4 p.m. Oct. 5.


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