WRITER: Kim Callahan

Emporia man accused of raping Lawrence woman in 2022 pleads no contest to aggravated battery

Updated at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2 An Emporia man who was accused of raping a woman in 2022 at her Lawrence apartment was convicted on Wednesday in Douglas County District Court of the lesser offense of aggravated battery. As part of a plea deal with the state, the defendant, Romeo Devontay Martinez, entered a no contest plea to an amended complaint of one felony count of aggravated battery with a finding ...

Lawrence school board approves district's calculations regarding open spots for transfer students under new state law

In the wake of a new law broadening school choice, the Lawrence school district is hopeful that it can increase enrollment and gain state education dollars by receiving students from other districts, but it’s taking a self-described “conservative” approach to avoid overwhelming its schools. At a special meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence school board voted 5-0, with Anne Costello and Carole Cadue-Blackwood ...

Man originally charged in young woman's fentanyl death pleads no contest to lesser crime, gets 4 other felony cases dismissed as part of deal

A man who was originally charged in the overdose death of a young Lawrence woman entered a no contest plea Friday to the lesser crime of distributing a controlled substance. The plea deal that Mason Duane Robinson, 28, cut with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office also guaranteed that multiple other felony cases against him would be dismissed altogether. Robinson was originally charged with ...

Jury finds man not guilty in downtown murder case

Updated at 4:11 p.m. Thursday, April 25, 2024 A Douglas County jury on Thursday acquitted a transient man of murdering a blind Lawrence resident last summer in downtown Lawrence. The defendant, Chadwick Potter, 35, had faced a second-degree murder charge in the bludgeoning death of David Blaine Sullivan, 62. Sullivan’s body was found on July 12, 2023, beneath a clump of trees by the Kansas River bridge near ...

Video of murder suspect's interrogation shown; defense tries to cast doubt on police investigation; jury deliberating

Story updated at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 24: A transient man accused of beating a blind man to death in downtown Lawrence told police that he and the man peacefully smoked marijuana together on a July night last year and that he then left the man alive and well near the Kansas River bridge — a narrative that the state disputes with a collection of circumstantial evidence but that the defense has sought to ...

State disciplinary board recommends DA Valdez be censured for inappropriate conduct; special prosecutor had sought 1-year suspension

Updated at 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez should be censured for unprofessional conduct toward a Douglas County judge, the state’s top panel for attorney discipline is recommending. A panel for the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys is recommending to the Kansas Supreme Court that Valdez be censured for “undignified or discourteous conduct” toward ...