Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel on Friday sentenced Charles M. Johnson to 31 months in prison on a robbery charge stemming from an Aug. 14 home invasion.
Kittel agreed with prosecutors that the robbery fit the profile of a trend on the rise in Lawrence: home invasions targeting drug dealers who keep drugs and cash on hand and who may be unlikely to report the crimes.
“This is becoming a much more dangerous situation in our community, occurring on a more frequent basis than in years past,” Kittel said before addressing Johnson, 22. “I think that you chose and planned this robbery because you figured that the victim wouldn’t report.”
The robbery, at an apartment in the 2300 block of Wakarusa Drive, was the fifth such offense reported this year. Police say the actual number may be higher because victims often don’t report robberies if they themselves are involved in illegal activity.
During the robbery Johnson and one other suspect, who has not been identified or charged, left with a cell phone, computer and about $1,200 in music recording equipment, police said. Police also said they believed an unknown amount of marijuana was stolen. Cummings was not present during Friday’s sentencing.
Johnson will receive 98 days credit toward his sentence. Before Kittel’s ruling, Johnson said he had been finding ways to deal with his anger through behavioral sessions at the Douglas County Jail.
“I’m not that old person I used to be,” he said.
Kittel pointed out Johnson’s intent to carry out the robbery, his longstanding addiction to marijuana and his failure so far to seek treatment for that addiction.
“I don’t see that the community will be safe with you in (it),” she said.