Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2018

Teens charged in year-old armed robbery at west Lawrence apartment

February 22, 2018, 10:13 a.m. Updated February 22, 2018, 4:44 p.m.


Two Lawrence teens have been arrested and charged in an armed robbery that happened a year ago at a west Lawrence apartment complex.

Alejandro Noel Esparza, 19, and Austin James Tyler Wilson, 18, were arrested late Friday night following a car stop near Eighth and Tennessee streets, according to jail and police records.

Both made first appearances in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. According to jail records, their bonds were set at $25,000 each.

They are each charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a felony, while armed with a handgun, according to charging documents. Charges, filed Jan. 10 of this year, allege they took a man’s ID card, watch and other items in the robbery.

Charges stem from a Feb. 15, 2017, incident — one of two, thought to be unrelated armed robberies reported that day in southwest Lawrence. In that incident, an aggravated robbery was reported at a residence in the apartment complex at 4101 W. 24th Place, Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads told the Journal-World last year. That is the address of the Legends Place Apartments.

Previously, in May 2017, Briana R. Helms of Lawrence — 19 at the time of the crime, now 20 — was also charged with one count of aggravated robbery involving a handgun in connection with the same incident, according to charges against her. Her case remains pending, according to court records.

The sheriff’s office this week denied the Journal-World’s request for the three defendants’ mugshots.

A fourth person was charged as a juvenile in connection with the same incident, according to the DA’s office.

According to court records, he was charged in March 2017, later pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced in November 2017.

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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Dale Miller 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Guns involved? Don't drop or lower that charge under any circumstances. It's a felony and society demands they get permanently placed that no gun list, if convicted. Explain why releasing their photos was refused?

Steve Jacob 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Curious why they are not free with the mug shots, Jefferson County sure is not shy about releasing them. We know they are innocent until proven guilty, so it's not really shaming them.

Aaron McGrogor 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Do we really though? Not that I think they should be withholding these boys' mug shots, but most people on here seem to believe charges would not be filed unless they were guilty.

Andy Craig 1 month, 4 weeks ago

They probably didn't release the mug shots because they were minors when the crimes occurred.

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