Lawrence courts

Washington-based group files lawsuit over Kansas gun law
July 9, 2014
A national gun control group is arguing in a lawsuit that a Kansas law challenging federal authority to regulate guns is unconstitutional and endangers public safety.
Testimony: Lawrence businessman details years of involvement in $17M federal drug case
July 8, 2014
Chad Bauman, 35, of Lawrence, operated numerous businesses in and near his hometown in the years before his 2012 arrest: carpet cleaning, flooring, used cars, landscaping and a laundromat. But it was his decision to diversify into selling marijuana and cocaine that was the focus of Tuesday’s testimony in federal court. By Stephen Montemayor
Drug conspiracy co-defendant details how marijuana made its way from California indoor growing facility to Kansas
July 7, 2014
A good indoor marijuana crop for Phillip Alarcon would produce about 15 pounds, nearly four times a year, inside a San Lorenzo, Calif., rental property he owned. Alarcon, 45, of Hayward, Calif., took the witness stand Monday as the latest co-defendant in a $17 million federal drug conspiracy trial that began in April. In custody since his June 2012 arrest, Alarcon pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to testify against his former business associates and friends in a January 2013 plea agreement. Lawrence twins Los Rovell Dahda and Roosevelt Rico Dahda, and Justin Pickel, of San Lorenzo, Calif., are the only three defendants standing trial. By Stephen Montemayor
Protesters demonstrate in front of Lawrence Hobby Lobby over company’s stance on birth control
July 7, 2014
A few dozen people protested in front of the Lawrence Hobby Lobby store Monday in response to the company’s involvement in a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed family-owned corporations to refuse to pay for their employees’ birth control if they have religious objections. By Giles Bruce
Kansas gay marriage foes to seek protections again
July 6, 2014
Kansas legislators will face renewed pressure next year to provide additional legal protections to those who want to avoid accommodating same-sex couples for religious reasons in the wake of federal courts nationwide invalidating state gay marriage bans.
Appeals court considering case of Baldwin City mom who hosted teen drinking party
July 5, 2014
A Baldwin City mom admitted in court documents to letting her teenage daughter and underage friends party at her home one night last summer as she drank along with them. Yet Sherry Haskell was not found guilty of unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcohol. The Kansas Court of Appeals is now considering Haskell’s case, which hinges on a single word in the law she was charged with breaking. By Sara Shepherd
Testimony in federal drug trial: A brief high before business came tumbling down
July 3, 2014
A package that was more than $84,000 lighter by the time it reached California was among the early ripples felt in May 2012 by several of the eventual 43 co-defendants later arrested and indicted as part of a $17 million drug conspiracy. By Stephen Montemayor
Testimony: After break-in, federal drug case co-defendant ‘started from scratch’ with Dahdas, others
July 2, 2014
Around the time Peter Park began associating with Lawrence twins Los and Roosevelt Dahda, his yearslong venture in moving marijuana and cocaine had taken a major hit. By Stephen Montemayor
Testimony from ‘Spiderman,’ co-defendant in federal drug case, unfurls web of connections
July 1, 2014
Peter Park’s “Spiderman” moniker may play off his name, but as he testified Tuesday as part of a long-running federal drug trial whose defendants include two Lawrence twins, a web of connections unfurled. By Stephen Montemayor
Lawrence man receives probation in downtown peeping case
June 30, 2014
A Lawrence man charged with secretly videotaping people in downtown changing rooms in 2012 and 2013 has been sentenced to a total of 16 months in prison. Orion Graf entered no-contest pleas to two counts of breach of privacy in the Douglas County District Court earlier this spring. Monday morning, he was sentenced to 8 months for each count. The sentences will be served consecutively, with 12 months of supervised probation.
Kansas Supreme Court says KU Hospital on hook for $140,000 medical bill
June 27, 2014
The KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., will have to absorb the cost of treating a non-U.S. citizen who was supposed to be held for immigration authorities but was never taken into federal custody. The man jumped out of a fourth-story window at the Wabaunsee County jail facility, but the Kansas Supreme Court ruled he was not technically in the county’s custody at the time, and so the hospital cannot bill the county for the cost of his care. By Peter Hancock
Appeals court upholds same-sex marriage
02:07 p.m., June 25, 2014 Updated 05:41 p.m.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said Wednesday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The 10th Circuit includes Kansas, which means the decision would be binding on U.S. District courts here. But the appellate court stayed its order, pending a likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock
10th Circuit panel says states cannot ban gay marriage
June 25, 2014
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled for the first time that states must allow gay couples to marry, finding the Constitution protects same-sex relationships and putting a remarkable legal winning streak across the country one step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Anderson County woman sentenced in federal drug conspiracy that included 2010 slaying in Eudora
June 23, 2014
On Monday, A 24-year-old Anderson County woman became the 14th defendant sentenced in federal court in connection with a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that included a 2010 killing at a home in Eudora. Tracy Rockers, of Greeley, will serve 162 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and admitting to being present at the Eudora home where traffickers killed Gregory Price over unsettled drug debts in December 2010 and later disposed of his body in a refrigerator.
Douglas County District Court judge to retire but continue in judicial service
06:35 p.m., June 19, 2014 Updated 06:35 p.m.
The Douglas County District Court has announced that District Court Judge Michael J. Malone will retire from his position late this summer, but he will continue to serve a role within the Kansas judicial system.