Lawrence courts

Kansas judiciary shows little racial diversity
February 7, 2015
While the population in Kansas is growing more diverse with each census, that has not been reflected in the Kansas judiciary, where people of color make up 3 percent of all the judges on the state bench. Next week, Kansas lawmakers will begin debating possible changes in the way Supreme Court justices are selected, but legal experts say there is little chance those changes will affect the all-white face of the state’s highest court. By Peter Hancock
31-year-old man pleads not guilty in child rape case
05:24 p.m., February 4, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
A Lawrence man charged with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14 and one count of rape of a child under 14 pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday.
KU lecturer who won HOPE Award found guilty of stalking, violating protection order
01:39 p.m., February 3, 2015 Updated 10:10 p.m.
A Kansas University lecturer is serving a sentence of two years on probation after a Johnson County district judge found him guilty of stalking and protection order violations.
Assistant Douglas County DA seeks change in child sexual exploitation law
06:35 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 10:52 p.m.
A Douglas County prosecutor is asking the Kansas Legislature to toughen the law surrounding child exploitation after he found that the existing law calls for probation for those who secretly film or photograph children for pornographic purposes. Assistant District Attorney Mark Simpson testified last week before the Kansas House Judiciary Committee in support of a bill by sponsored by Rep. Tom Sloan, a Douglas County Republican, to change the definition of “sexually explicit conduct.”
Appeals court upholds Lawrence man’s sentence for drug possession
02:29 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:10 p.m.
Eric Waggoner was convicted of drug possession in 2013 and was sentenced to nearly three years in prison, plus another year of post-release supervision, based partly on a prior conviction as a juvenile in 1993. The Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday upheld that sentence. By Peter Hancock
Kansas Supreme Court clarifies standard in overturning DUI conviction
01:54 p.m., January 30, 2015 Updated 08:16 p.m.
In a 6-1 ruling, the Supreme Court said one of the three standardized field sobriety tests is too unreliable to give an officer probable cause to believe a driver is intoxicated. The court overturned the conviction of a Wichita man and remanded his case back to the district court. By Peter Hancock
Douglas County man appealing status as violent sexual predator
January 28, 2015
A Douglas County man who has been judged as a violent sexual predator will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday to overturn that conviction. By Peter Hancock
Kansas courts now in center of partisan politics
10:15 p.m., January 25, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
Judges in Kansas are finding themselves increasingly at the center of partisan political fights, an unusual position for the state courts. And that’s likely to continue as Gov. Sam Brownback calls for changing the way state Supreme Court justices are chosen. Some argue that the courts need to become more accountable to the public, but other legal experts say the proposed changes would not help. By Peter Hancock
Kansas attorney general asks court to clarify school finance ruling
January 23, 2015
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the three-judge panel handling the school finance lawsuit didn’t explain what facts it relied on in its ruling that said current funding for schools is unconstitutional. He is asking the panel to revise its Dec. 30 opinion, which will delay any review by the Kansas Supreme Court. By Peter Hancock
Man convicted in accident in which KU student lost his legs gets three-year sentence
04:09 p.m., January 22, 2015 Updated 10:22 p.m.
Former Kansas University student Julian M. Kuszmaul, of Lawrence, was sentenced to three years in the Douglas County Jail Thursday after being convicted in December of second-offense DUI, refusing to submit to alcohol or drug testing and possession of marijuana in connection with an August 2012 accident that cost a fellow KU student his legs.
Martin Miller’s retrial in murder case to stay in Douglas County, judge rules
11:06 a.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
The retrial of a Lawrence man convicted in 2005 of murdering his wife will take place in Douglas County after his lawyer asked for a change of venue, District Judge Paula Martin ruled last week.
More teleconferencing coming to Douglas County courtrooms this year
January 17, 2015
Douglas County Courts will complete their move into the teleconferencing age by the end of the year, District Court Chief Judge Robert Fairchild said. The court plans to install Polycom high-definition teleconferencing systems in the three courtrooms that don’t already have them, Fairchild said. Three of the six courtrooms have teleconferencing systems. By Caitlin Doornbos
Court upholds expulsion of KU law student over criminal past
02:21 p.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:02 p.m.
A federal appeals court has upheld the expulsion of a student at the Kansas University School of Law who lied about his criminal history on his application.
Preliminary hearing and arraignment set for Lawrence man charged in three cases since being shot by police in June
11:58 a.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 09:59 p.m.
The preliminary hearing and arraignment of a Lawrence man charged with various offenses in three separate cases — aggravated assault of an officer, aggravated battery and DUI, eluding police, criminal threat, interference with law enforcement duties and battery of a law enforcement officer — was pushed to a later date after two witnesses were unable to attend the preliminary hearing set for Tuesday.
New hearing set for homicide suspect in home health care death
11:08 a.m., January 13, 2015 Updated 10:03 p.m.
The next hearing for homicide suspect Ronald Eugene Heskett, 48, has been scheduled for Feb. 17.