WRITER: Mackenzie Clark

Man charged with aggravated assault, fleeing police

A man has been charged with multiple felonies in Douglas County District Court in connection with a disturbance in May. Seth A. Kenney was charged Tuesday with three counts of felony aggravated assault for allegedly threatening an adult and two 13-year-olds with a gun, according to court documents. He is also charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, a low-level felony. Lt. Kristen ...

Man attended court for Lawrence grease theft case, then stole more grease, affidavit alleges

After his court hearing for his charge of stealing used restaurant grease, a Springfield, Mo., man allegedly proceeded to repeat the crime. Byron Parker Aston, 28, was first booked into the Douglas County Jail on Feb. 27, jail records show. He was charged with low-level felony theft for allegedly stealing more than a ton of used cooking grease from bins behind three restaurants on Massachusetts Street. He ...

Shawnee man faces gun-related charges in Lawrence after traffic stop near KU

Story updated at 2:27 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7: A Shawnee man was charged Tuesday as the result of a traffic stop near the University of Kansas campus. Deputy Chief James Anguiano of KUPD told the Journal-World via email Tuesday morning that officers stopped a car for a traffic violation at 12:15 a.m. in the area of 19th Street and Ousdahl Road. Anguiano said a person was arrested on suspicion of possession ...

KU students’ meetup in dorm room resulted in sex crime, affidavit alleges

A late-night encounter between two University of Kansas students began with consensual kissing but devolved into a sex crime, court documents allege. Hayden Brae Gragg, 19, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was arrested on suspicion of rape, a high-level felony, in October 2018. He was released without being charged pending completion of an investigation. He was arrested on a warrant July 16 and charged with sexual ...

Hazmat team investigates containers of mystery fluid on site of Lawrence hotel

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical responders were called to a Lawrence hotel Monday afternoon to investigate mysterious containers of liquid found on the property. Division Chief Justin Temple said staff at Quality Inn & Suites Lawrence, 2309 Iowa St., discovered two clear, approximately 10-gallon containers of fluid during a routine check of the property. LDCFM was called in shortly after 12:30 p.m. ...

Shooting reported near 24th Street and Ousdahl Road in Lawrence; no one injured

Lawrence police responded to a report of a shooting Sunday night, but no one was shot. Patrick Compton, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, said police responded around 8:50 p.m. Sunday to the 1700 block of West 24th Street. He said it was a domestic incident and “initial findings indicate there was a shooting,” but no one was injured as a result of it. One person did suffer minor injuries in ...

Man convicted in downtown Lawrence triple murder gets life sentence

Story updated at 2:27 p.m. Thursday For each of the three victims killed in a shooting on Massachusetts Street, and a fourth who was injured, the man responsible deserved a separate sentence, the judge ruled Thursday morning in Douglas County District Court. Anthony Laron Roberts Jr., 22, of Topeka, was convicted on June 25 in the triple murder that happened in a span of just a few seconds on the night of Oct. ...

Lawrence police get call from man saying he shot his wife; now believe it was swatting attempt

Lawrence police responded to an incident they now suspect to be a swatting call, according to a department news release. Dispatchers received a call from a man claiming to have shot his wife, the release said. Officers responded around 1 a.m. Wednesday to a home in the 2400 block of Cedarwood Avenue, then learned that the call was “a probable attempt at swatting, stemming from a disagreement in an online ...

Former KU football player accused of choking woman, pointing shotgun pleads not guilty, will go to trial

A former University of Kansas football player will face trial in connection with a woman’s allegation that he choked her and pointed a shotgun in her face. Kenny Evel Bastida, 19, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to all charges: two felonies, aggravated assault and aggravated battery, and two misdemeanors, criminal damage to property and possession of marijuana. The ...

Douglas County property crimes drop, but violent crime barely budges, KBI report shows

Douglas County saw crime rates drop to at least a 15-year low from 2017 to 2018, a new report shows. However, violent crimes — which had consistently risen since 2015 — were nearly stagnant. The latest edition of an annual report from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, released Thursday, focuses on “index crimes.” In that category, the FBI includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, ...

Bomb threat deemed not credible after search of Douglas County Courthouse, district court

Story updated at 4:50 p.m. Thursday, July 25: Law enforcement closed the Douglas County Courthouse and surrounding areas for about 2 1/2 hours Thursday after a bomb threat was called into dispatchers. Lt. Kristen Channel, of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said at the scene that Kansas Highway Patrol bomb-sniffing dogs searched the courthouse as well as the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement ...

Lawrence man arrested in connection with gunshots fired at apartment complex

The Lawrence Police Department has arrested a man in connection with a shooting that didn’t injure anyone but sent people running on June 25. Around 11 that evening at an apartment complex in the 1000 block of West 24th Street, multiple callers reported hearing gunshots and seeing people run into a nearby residence, Sgt. Amy Rhoads told the Journal-World the following day. A 24-year-old Lawrence man was ...

Judge sets new bond of $400K for suspect in attempted murder case

A judge has set a significantly higher bond for a man whose case could spark changes in the way bond procedures work in Douglas County. In the past two years, Alfred Dewayne Sanders, 47, of Lawrence, has been released from the Douglas County Jail three times after posting bond, court records show. In two of those cases, he'd been arrested on suspicion of drug offenses and theft, but in the first and most ...

Girl’s trust for ‘mentor’ led to repeated child sex crimes, affidavit alleges

Story updated at 11:35 a.m. Wednesday, July 24: A victim of alleged child sex crimes, now 19, recently told Lawrence police that she couldn’t tell anyone what happened when she was 14 because she cared about the man now charged with molesting her, and she didn’t want anything to happen to him. Joseph Christopher Hess, 35, of Lawrence, was charged in June with six felonies that allegedly occurred between ...

Man in grease theft case faces new charges, will go to trial

A defendant accused of stealing grease will go to trial later this year, and he now faces additional charges — also related to grease theft. Byron Parker Aston, 28, of Springfield, Mo., and a co-defendant were arrested in February, and each was charged with one count of theft after investigators for an international company reportedly got video of the men stealing grease from bins behind restaurants on ...

Man pleads guilty in cable box battery theft case

A 50-year-old Topeka man has pleaded guilty to felony charges connected to cable box battery thefts. Quentin Raymond Sowers was initially charged in Douglas County District Court with 30 counts of theft, burglary and property damage, including three counts of theft of batteries and power units valued at more than $1,500 apiece, the Journal-World reported in April. Authorities alleged that he was prying open ...

White House calls Douglas County Republican official ‘partisan’

After Douglas County Commission Chair Michelle Derusseau said she did not plan to attend a White House summit, calling it a “publicity stunt,” a member of Republican President Donald Trump’s staff has accused her of partisanship. The three Douglas County commissioners were invited — along with up to 175 other representatives from the region — to a “State Leadership Day” scheduled for July 25, the ...

Douglas County Commission plans to raise mill levy, denies storage facility permit

Douglas County commissioners on Wednesday approved their 2020 budget for publication with a mill levy increase that is slightly smaller than what they discussed the week prior. Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said a change in the zoning department’s budget lowered the required mill levy to fund what commissioners had determined they wanted to include in the 2020 budget. The increase the commission ...

Douglas County Commission to consider permit for storage facility that several neighbors oppose

The owner of a property on the northern outskirts of Lawrence wants to build a boat storage and ministorage facility there, but several neighbors have petitioned against the plan. The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission voted 5-5 on the conditional use permit at its June 24 meeting, according to a draft of meeting minutes. The request is now headed to the Douglas County Commission, which will consider ...

Douglas County commissioners have no interest in 'publicity stunt' of White House summit

President Donald Trump has been inviting county leaders nationwide to summits at the White House. Douglas County Commission Chair Michelle Derusseau said she did not plan to attend the upcoming “publicity stunt.” All three county commissioners were invited — along with other representatives from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma — to a “State Leadership Day,” scheduled for Thursday, July 25. ...