WRITER: Chris Conde

Jury convicts De Soto man of sex crime against a child in Douglas County District Court

A Douglas County jury has convicted a man of one child sex crime count in a case where two girls said he abused them more than a decade ago when they were in preschool and kindergarten. Kenneth Wilson Mills, 35, of De Soto, was convicted of one count of aggravated sodomy of a child on Friday for sexually assaulting the younger of the two girls. But he was not convicted of the other three sex crime counts he ...

Jury convicts Lawrence man on attempted murder charges; he says he became violent after smoking synthetic marijuana laced with PCP

A Douglas County jury convicted a man on Friday on two counts of attempted murder and multiple other charges for a shooting that occurred in 2020. Charles Darnell Thomas II, 37, was facing four counts of attempted second-degree murder, three felony counts of aggravated battery, and three felony counts of aggravated endangerment of a child. The charges stem from an incident on July 8, 2020, in the 1900 block of ...

UPDATE: Jury convicts on one count in sex crime trial involving two teenagers who alleged they were abused more than 10 years ago

UPDATE 12:35 P.M. AUG. 5, 2022 A Douglas County jury returned a verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated sodomy of a child Friday for a man who was facing multiple counts of sex crimes against children alleged to have occurred more than a decade ago. Kenneth Wilson Mills, 35 of De Soto, was facing one count of rape of a child, two counts of aggravated sodomy of a child, and one count of aggravated ...

At trial, teenage girls allege De Soto man sexually assaulted them more than a decade ago

Two teenage girls testified at a trial Tuesday for a man they say sexually assaulted them when they were in preschool and kindergarten about a decade ago — and were asked why it took so long for their allegations to come to light. The defendant in the case, Kenneth Wilson Mills, of De Soto, is now 35 but would have been 23 to 24 at the time of the alleged crimes. He is charged with one count of rape, two ...

Lawrence woman charged with 9 counts of identity theft; she's accused of stealing from coworkers at dentist's office

Story updated at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday: A Lawrence woman has been charged with multiple counts of identity theft after police alleged that she charged thousands of dollars to 18 people's bank accounts. Billie Jean Peterson, 25, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at around 1:20 p.m. at Lawrence police headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. On Wednesday, she was formally charged in Douglas County District Court with nine ...

Lawrence man charged with two counts of first-degree murder, other charges in Sunday morning case that ended with a police chase

A 51-year-old Lawrence man has been charged with first-degree murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in connection with a Sunday morning double homicide in Lawrence that also involved a police chase that ended in nearby Eudora. Rodney Ericson Marshall was charged on Monday with two counts of first-degree murder intentional and premeditated. He was also charged with five counts of attempted capital ...

Police dogs get specially fitted ballistic vests and other gear from Douglas County nonprofit

Two four-legged members of the Lawrence Police Department recently got special gifts from an area nonprofit: custom-fitted ballistic vests that will help them do their work more safely. The vests for patrol service dogs Shadow and Mack were donated to the department by Friends of the K9 Vest Midwest, a nonprofit that was founded by Douglas County resident Emily Fawcett in 2021. Fawcett is the owner of Pampered ...

Man gets probation for pulling a gun during fight over basketball game at Sports Pavilion Lawrence

A Topeka man who pulled a handgun after a dispute during a pick-up basketball game was sentenced to probation on Friday, despite state sentencing guidelines that presumed prison time for the gun-related conviction. Isaaic C. Jameson, 22, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in June. On Friday, Judge Stacey Donovan sentenced him to 26 months in prison before suspending the ...

Police say revenge was the motive for shooting at Lawrence’s Allstars nightclub

A man was beaten at a Lawrence nightclub before returning with a pistol and firing multiple shots at patrons outside of the club from his car, according to an arrest affidavit. As the Journal-World has reported, Jermey Anthony Johnson, 24, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a shooting that occurred on Aug. 1, 2021, at the now-closed Allstars nightclub at 913 N. Second ...

5th man faces charges in alleged armed robbery at Lawrence apartment

A fifth man now faces charges in an incident where a group of people allegedly stole alcohol from the occupants of a Lawrence apartment at gunpoint. The man, 22-year-old Malachi Samuel Thomas, of Lawrence, is charged with three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary, according to charging documents. All of the charges are high-level felonies. The charges are identical to those of ...

2 more men charged for allegedly stealing alcohol from Lawrence apartment at gunpoint

Two Leavenworth men have been charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in connection with an incident at a Lawrence apartment complex. Blake William Brown, 21, and Nasir Rahman Ali Penny, 20, were each charged on Friday with three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary. The charges are high-level felonies. The charges are in connection with an incident on June 28, ...

Former Lawrence officer accused of improperly accessing woman's driving records will try again for a diversion agreement

A former Lawrence police officer who's accused of improperly accessing a woman's driving records in a law enforcement database will be pursuing a diversion agreement for the second time after a previous attempt couldn't reach a resolution. David Shane Williams, 35, of De Soto, is charged with one felony count of unlawful acts with a computer and one misdemeanor count of official misconduct of an officer, ...

Lawrence man charged with multiple burglaries and thefts

A Lawrence man is facing charges of burglary and theft in connection with three incidents throughout the city, including one in which he allegedly entered Liberty Hall and stole sound equipment and another that reportedly took place at LMH Health's West Campus. In June and July, 34-year-old Dennis Martin Miller was formally charged in Douglas County District Court in three cases that span more than a year, ...

Judge seals arrest affidavit in case involving alleged sex crimes at Raintree Montessori School

Details of allegations against a former worker at a Lawrence child-care facility are still unclear nearly three weeks after the man was charged with sex crimes — and will remain so, at least in the near term, after a judge on Monday ordered the arrest affidavit in the case to be sealed. The former worker, Mateo Emilio Clavel Wills, 19, faces four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the ...

Stull Road reopens after church fire

A fire at the Stull United Methodist Church led to the closure of Stull Road for several hours on Monday afternoon. North 1600 Road, Stull Road, west of Lawrence was shut down near the 200 block around 2:30 p.m. while crews worked to extinguish the fire, said George Diepenbrock with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The fire was extinguished by 4 p.m., according to Chief Mike Baxter of Consolidated Fire ...

Lawrence resident rescues woman after her car goes into Kansas River near downtown Lawrence

Updated at 5:02 p.m. Thursday A Lawrence man rescued a woman Thursday morning after she drove her car into the Kansas River near downtown Lawrence. The man, Zach Beebe, 30, told the Journal-World he was on the south bank of the river near Powerhouse Road, cleaning out a friend’s truck, when a young woman drove an SUV rapidly into the river. Beebe said he yelled at the woman to stop, but she kept on going ...

Bruce Stanley Springsteen

Lawrence man on probation for child pornography conviction faces 14 more child pornography counts

A Lawrence man who was on probation for child pornography convictions was charged with 14 more child pornography counts on Thursday. Bruce Stanley Springsteen, 65, was charged Thursday with 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a child by possessing explicit media of a child under the age of 18, according to charging documents. The documents say the charges stem from an incident that took place on June 19. ...

2 Lawrence men face charges for allegedly stealing alcohol from apartment dwellers at gunpoint

Two Lawrence men were charged on Thursday with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary for allegedly taking alcoholic beverages from the occupants of an apartment at gunpoint, according to court documents. The men, Trevon Andrew Anderson, 19, and Isaiah Jawone Mabry, 21, were each charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated robbery, according ...

Former wife of man convicted in ‘naked cuddling’ case enters into mediation talks in Douglas County

The former wife of a convicted child molester waived her right on Tuesday in Douglas County District Court to a preliminary hearing and is pursuing criminal mediation regarding allegations that she concealed her husband's crimes. In a preliminary hearing, a judge would have decided if enough evidence existed to order the woman, Lorene Rose Martins, to stand trial. Martins, 47, of Lawrence, is charged with two ...

One person taken to hospital after small fire at Lawrence dental office

Lawrence firefighters extinguished a small fire at a dental office Tuesday morning, and one employee of the business was taken to the hospital. Emergency crews with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical responded a little after 10 a.m. to reports of a fire at the Lawrence Dental Center, 647 Country Club Terrace, according to a news release from the department. The fire occurred in the ceiling of the basement ...