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Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekend wrap-up: Not-guilty plea in prostitution case; warrant issued for man guilty of animal cruelty

February 2, 2013

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A parole absconder was held over for trial this week after the Douglas County Court heard evidence in the case of a New Year’s Day shooting.

Willie D. Fleming

Willie D. Fleming

Willie D. Fleming, 23, remains in custody in lieu of a $100,000 bond after allegedly firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle early New Year’s Day in the 900 block of Iowa Street. He is charged with criminal possession and criminal discharge of a firearm. Fleming is also being held on several Johnson County charges, including aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and possession of stolen property. Kansas Department of Corrections records show Fleming absconded from parole Dec. 14. He had been in prison from May 2008 — until his parole in October 2012 — on a drug and assault charge.

Jail booking photo of Joshua Hance

Jail booking photo of Joshua Hance

  • In Jefferson County, prosecutors charged a 28-year-old Missouri man Friday with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and criminal possession of a firearm, among several offenses, in connection with his arrest Monday following a high-speed chase from southwest Jefferson County to Topeka. Joshua Hance is also charged with fleeing and eluding, interference with law enforcement, theft, reckless driving, and a minor traffic infraction. The most severe of these charges carries a possible prison sentence of almost four years. Prosecutors accused Hance of pointing a gun at a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop near Grantville and leading a high-speed chase into Topeka in a stolen car. Bond was set at $100,000.
  • A 33-year-old Lawrence woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of prostitution and engaging in sexual contact with a juvenile. The woman was arraigned in Douglas County Court Tuesday on charges stemming from her arrest on Dec. 11. Police have said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation of prostitution, including allegations that the suspect advertised “sexually oriented services” online. A statement provided by Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said police had interviewed a Lawrence juvenile, under the age of 16, who allegedly engaged in sexual contact with her on more than one occasion at a hotel and a residence. The woman faces three counts of prostitution, three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, and three counts of criminal sodomy. The case is scheduled to go to trial on May 15. The Journal-World usually doesn’t name suspects in sex crimes unless they are convicted.
  • A 29-year-old Lawrence man will stand trial on aggravated robbery and criminal possession of a firearm charges stemming from an Oct. 18 robbery of another man outside of Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway. A Douglas County District Court judge found at a preliminary hearing last week that there was enough evidence to bring Antonio M. Douglas to trial on the charges, which could carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison. Numerous witnesses reported seeing Douglas pointing a shotgun at another man in the parking lot of the store Oct. 18. Douglas remains in jail on a $75,000 bond. Douglas is currently on probation for a 2010 robbery in Douglas County.
  • A 20-year-old former Ottawa man pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges stemming from a Jan. 10 robbery in Lawrence. Dustin Jamal Burnett, the last of four defendants to be convicted in the case, pleaded no contest in Douglas County Court to one count each of robbery and attempted robbery as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Prosecutors said Burnett and three co-defendants robbed four people of money, marijuana, and other items at an apartment in the 1700 block of West 19th Street. The other suspects, all Ottawa men, have since been arrested and convicted. Dominique Rashad Burnett, 22, is serving a 52-month prison sentence for robbery, and Colby Blaine Simon, 19, received probation after pleading no contest to attempted robbery and theft. Dallas Ambler, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 4. Burnett is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11. Depending on his criminal history, he could face up to 136 months in prison for the robbery conviction. He remains in jail.
  • Prosecutors have charged a 19-year-old Lawrence woman with aggravated endangerment of a child in connection with a Nov. 18 incident in which a vehicle was driven into a Lawrence house. The felony charge was added to a count of criminal damage Thursday in Douglas County Court. Megan Victoria Wilson was arrested Jan. 16., two months after police allege Wilson intentionally ran her vehicle into a home in the 1900 block of East 30th Street shortly before 9 a.m. on Nov. 18. People were home at the time, but no one was injured. Aggravated endangerment of a child carries a possible sentence of up to 17 months in prison. Criminal damage can require a sentence of probation or up to three years in prison, depending on a person’s criminal history. Wilson is free on a $7,500 bond.
  • Douglas County District Court Judge Michael Malone issued a bench warrant Thursday for a 23-year-old Lawrence man who was found guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty earlier this week. Byron Anthony Snowton failed to appear Thursday for sentencing after being found guilty in a bench trial Tuesday. The court found Snowton had knowingly, but without malicious intent, injured his dog by binding its hind legs with plastic ties and leaving it unable to stand in a yard outside an apartment building in the 800 block of Michigan Street. Thursday’s hearing was also meant to decide the future custody of the dog and hear a probation violation in Snowton’s case. He was on probation for a 2007 theft at the time of his arrest. Court testimony Tuesday suggested the dog may be euthanized by the Humane Society if its history of aggression makes it unsuitable for adoption. Snowton has said he would seek to regain custody of the dog.

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