Archive for Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend wrap-up: 14 plead guilty to drug trafficking; woman convicted for letting child drive car

February 17, 2013


  • Two Lawrence men and a Perry man were found guilty of burglary and possession of marijuana this week in connection with a Jan. 17 home invasion at an apartment in the 1700 block of West 24th Street. Prosecutors accused Robert Lee Coleman, 19, Lawrence, Quentin Marcel Hill, 18, Lawrence, and Charles T. Brockman, 25, Perry, of using a BB gun to commit a robbery at a Lawrence apartment, stealing $260 in cash, a television, a Playstation gaming system, and a jar containing six grams of marijuana. Brockman, who was also accused of striking one of the residents of the apartment in the face, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery on Feb. 6. On Friday, Hill pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and Coleman pleaded no contest to aggravated robbery. All three also were found guilty of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and are scheduled to be sentenced in March.
  • A 31-year-old Lawrence man was among 14 defendants to plead guilty to federal charges this month in a $16.9 million drug trafficking conspiracy allegedly organized by Lawrence residents arrested by federal agents last summer. Adam Christiansen pleaded guilty on Feb. 1 to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, according to court documents. Christiansen was one of 43 defendants charged last year after law officers arrested suspects in Douglas and Johnson counties on June 13. Sentencing will be set for a later date. Christiansen faces at least 10 years in prison and a possible life sentence, along with a $10 million fine.
  • A 27-year-old Lawrence man was found guilty on Jan. 31 of criminal damage and theft as part of a plea agreement in connection with an Oct. 21 incident at Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Massachusetts St. Manuel B. Garcia was accused of breaking a window at the store and stealing multiple items just after midnight on Oct. 21. Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone sentenced Garcia to one year of probation and ordered him to pay costs and restitution for the damage.
  • A 42-year-old Lawrence man will stand trial on seven felony sex crime charges involving a girl who is now 11. In a preliminary hearing in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday, the man was found competent to stand trial. He is charged with three counts of rape, three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy after his Jan. 14 arrest. Wednesday prosecutors said they had dismissed one charge after determining the alleged offense occurred outside of Douglas County and, possibly, at a time outside the statute of limitations. The remaining allegations, prosecutors said, occurred within the past year at the man’s home. Testimony indicated that police took video recordings of a Jan. 13 interview with the man in which he confessed to several of those charges and cried, saying that he had “made mistakes.” The man remains in Douglas County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. Each of the crimes the man is charged with carries a sentence of 25 years to life, and he is scheduled to stand trial on May 6. The Journal-World does not typically name sex-crime suspects unless they’re convicted.
  • A 25-year-old Lawrence man pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal possession of a firearm and battery of a law enforcement officer in connection with a Sept. 15 incident at Saint’s Bar, 2329 Iowa. Douglas County prosecutors accused Miguel Ayala with illegally possessing the firearm as a convicted felon and shoving a Lawrence police officer. Ayala had previously been convicted of burglarizing a vehicle, and officers arresting Ayala found a handgun in his pocket. Ayala is scheduled to be sentenced March 29, where he could face up to 11 months in prison and one year in county jail. As part of Ayala’s plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a second charge of battery of a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors also said Thursday they had dismissed a gun charge and a drug possession charge lodged against Ayala in a separate case.
  • A 21-year-old Lawrence man was found guilty of burglary and theft Wednesday in connection with an Oct. 1 incident near Eudora. Douglas County prosecutors accused Jerame Reeves-Mullin with burglarizing a residence southwest of Eudora, and dropped one count of criminal damage as part of Wednesday’s plea agreement. Burglary carries a possible prison sentence of up to 34 months, depending on a person’s criminal history. Reeves-Mullin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15.
  • A 49-year-old Lawrence woman who let a 13-year-old drive a car that struck a telephone pole in North Lawrence has been found guilty of child endangerment. Lori Jane Huske pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment Friday in Douglas County District Court. Prosecutors said Huske endangered two children, ages 13 and 7, who were injured in a July 14 crash near North Second and Lyons streets. Huske also pleaded guilty Friday to illegally possessing Adderall pills and is scheduled to be sentenced March 29.

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