A Douglas County judge Tuesday ordered a 31-year-old Lawrence man to face a trial for a July 31 aggravated burglary on Northwood Lane in northern Lawrence.
District Judge Kay Huff said she wanted to make a decision later today after reviewing her notes more thoroughly about whether to bound over Ronald Kenneth Brooks in connection with a second burglary in the same neighborhood that morning. Huff told prosecutors Tuesday that evidence in the Woodlawn Drive burglary appeared to be the “weaker count” compared with the first burglary.
During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Shawn Brockaway identified Brooks as a man he saw about 4 a.m. in his dining room in his house on Northwood Lane. Brockaway testified that Brooks apologized and said he thought he was in his friend’s house before Brooks shook his hand and walked out the back door. Brockaway then called police.
A woman also testified she saw a man standing over her in her bedroom on Woodlawn Drive about two hours later that morning. The suspect ran away, and she called 911.
Lawrence police officers and detectives testified they linked Brooks to the burglaries based on a clothing description he was wearing that morning. An officer saw him walking in the area just after 6 a.m. and later arrested Brooks.
Defense attorney Clinton Lee argued there were issues with the alleged victims being able to positively identify Brooks. Brooks claimed he was walking to work at a fast food restaurant that morning when police stopped him near Deerfield School, which is in the area of the two burglaries. Prosecutor Eve Kemple, an assistant district attorney, said police on Tuesday were still waiting on test results for DNA samples trying to tie Brooks to both burglaries.
Huff also ordered Brooks to face a trial on charges of felony obstruction, obstruction for attempting to run from a Lawrence officer that morning, a misdemeanor attempted theft count, and possession of methamphetamine or possession of ecstasy, due to a plastic bag he had in his pocket. His trial is scheduled for November.