3 arrested after Wednesday police pursuit charged with aggravated robbery
Three people were charged Friday with aggravated robbery — and one of them with several additional felonies — in connection with a series of armed crimes reported earlier this week in Lawrence.
The three suspects were in jail Friday afternoon and appeared in Douglas County District Court via video.
All were arrested early Wednesday evening after a brief vehicle and foot pursuit near 15th Street and Haskell Avenue, according to Lawrence police. In the minutes before the pursuit, police said, a vehicle and suspects matching the same description reportedly committed an armed robbery in the parking lot of a business at 23rd and Louisiana streets.
Police said Wednesday’s events were believed to be related to an armed home invasion reported late Tuesday night in the 1700 block of West 24th Street.
The man facing the most charges — five counts in all — is Elmoses Blackwell, 27, of Denver.
He was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of kidnapping and one count of aggravated burglary, all felonies, occurring Tuesday and Wednesday, according to court documents. Blackwell also was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, a misdemeanor.
On Tuesday, Blackwell allegedly burglarized a home in the 1700 block of 24th Street and stole a car while armed with a gun, as well as confining a victim, according to the charges. On Wednesday, he allegedly took money from a victim while armed with a gun and attempted to elude police.
In addition, Blackwell had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court in a Colorado case.
Prosecutor Mark Simpson said the state had reason to believe Blackwell was a flight risk, citing multiple prior convictions in Colorado including a robbery. Judge James George set Blackwell’s bond at $175,000.
Joshua L. Gardner, 27, whose address was not listed in the jail log, was charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a felony. Gardner is accused of taking money from a victim while armed with a handgun on or around Tuesday, according to the charging document.
Simpson said Gardner did not have a prior criminal history in this area, and the judge set his bond at $50,000.
Interjecting during the proceedings, Gardner said “I didn’t rob anyone,” “I’ve never gotten in trouble,” and “I was in the back seat of the car.”
Chrystal M. White, 44, Lawrence, was charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a felony. She also is accused of taking money from a victim while armed with a handgun on or around Tuesday, according to the charging document.
Simpson said White had an “extensive” criminal history in California and Douglas County. The judge set her bond at $75,000.
White had asked the judge to let her leave jail on her own recognizance. “This was not in my plan in my life here. I’m willing to testify against these guys,” White said, adding, “… I just want to be able to leave.”
None of the suspects entered pleas on Friday. All have preliminary hearings scheduled next week.