Judge revokes probation, sends ‘dangerous person’ convicted in Tinder beating and kidnapping case to prison
Man also linked to May 1 suspicious death of woman he met online
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Shane S. Allen asked for another chance on probation, to get more intensive treatment to kick his methamphetamine addiction.
Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny didn’t give it to him.
Instead, on Wednesday, she revoked Allen’s probation and sent him directly to prison to serve the 27-month sentence she’d previously suspended by granting him probation. Minus eight months Allen spent jailed while his 2016 case was pending, he’ll be in prison for the next year and a half.
With his meth addiction and mental health issues untreated, Pokorny called Allen “a dangerous person and a danger to society.” She said he already had a year and a half to reform while free on probation.
“I don’t think I need to wait and see if he’s going to hurt somebody,” Pokorny said.
Neither the judge, the attorneys nor Allen’s probation officer mentioned during Wednesday’s hearing that Allen, 32, of Lawrence, is now linked to the May 1 death of a woman that Lawrence police currently are investigating as suspicious. That death investigation, which the Journal-World reported last week, is still in the hands of Lawrence police, and no arrests have been made in connection with it.
Allen’s newly revoked probation was granted in December 2016, when he pleaded no contest and was convicted of two counts of felony aggravated battery for repeatedly beating a University of Kansas student he met on Tinder and invited to his trailer home in the 3300 block of Iowa Street. Kidnapping and other felony charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.
The victim told police that Allen picked her up at her sorority house and that she’d planned to spend the night with him and come home the next day. But instead she said Allen — at times “crazed” from what she suspected was meth use — then held her against her will for the next six days, punching, stomping and dragging her and forcing her to contact friends on social media and tell them she was OK.
On April 29 of this year, 27-year-old Sabrina Frock was with Allen, at the same trailer, when she suffered mortal injuries.
Three days earlier, Frock had driven from her home in Brookfield, Mo., to visit Allen, whom she’d met online through meetme.com, her mother told the newspaper. Denise Slaughter said she got a brief call from her daughter saying she was OK and staying one more night, but that early the next morning, law enforcement knocked on her door and said Frock was being flown from Lawrence to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.
Frock underwent surgery for a severe head injury but never regained consciousness, and she died May 1, Slaughter said.
The Lawrence Police Department confirmed it was investigating the death of a 27-year-old woman at that time but have not publicly released names or details about the circumstances.
On May 29, Allen’s probation officer filed an affidavit with the court alleging that Allen had violated his probation by using meth, missing multiple appointments and failing to complete his court-ordered mental health and substance abuse treatment.
At a June 13 court hearing on those allegations, Pokorny ordered him arrested.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Allen admitted to the probation violations, which date back more than a year.
He and his attorney, Dakota Loomis, argued that he should be allowed another chance on probation or at least to remain in the county jail until an inpatient bed is available for him at a treatment center.
“I know that I have an issue with methamphetamines … and I want help,” Allen said. “I don’t want to use anymore.”
Allen said that when he was in treatment it helped him stay sober for a “long time” and that he would benefit from more.
Loomis said prison would not serve Allen or the public because he couldn’t get the treatment he needs there. Loomis said the probation violations Allen committed were “a normal amount” and that in similar cases involving substance abuse, violators weren’t sent to prison after their first alleged probation violations.
“If there were concerns about public safety, I trust that Community Corrections would have had him here before 18 months had elapsed,” Loomis said. “There are alternative solutions here.”
Prosecutor Eve Kemple argued against Allen remaining free.
Kemple said that an extensive mental health evaluation of Allen before he was sentenced diagnosed him with bipolar disorder, as well as “anti-social,” “sadistic,” “reckless,” “domineering,” “aggressive” and “hard-headed” traits.
In his one past Douglas County criminal conviction, a 2014 misdemeanor domestic violence incident, Allen was high on meth when he broke down his mother’s bedroom door, Kemple said.
“She was afraid for her life,” Kemple said, adding that his mother said she’d tried everything she could to help him.
The victim in the 2016 Tinder case had eye injuries consistent with being strangled and extensive bruising, and also told police she feared for her life, Kemple said.
“Lack of mental health treatment and using meth make this individual highly dangerous,” Kemple said. “The public safety will be jeopardized if he is not remanded to custody.”
Last week, District Attorney Charles Branson questioned why Allen had seemingly not been supervised by Community Corrections — the county’s most intense level of probation supervision — and demanded an explanation for why no probation violations allegations were filed with the court until May 29.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Allen’s probation officer, Richard Morris, said that Allen was not unsupervised but rather had a number of shortcomings that Morris characterized as not uncommon for drug-addicted offenders on probation.
Allen started treatment with Clinical Associates but the schedule of his counselor there was conflicting with his work schedule, so Allen and the practice agreed to assign him a new counselor who kept different hours, Morris said. But Allen never met with that person.
“Essentially, it was a failure of communication on both ends,” Morris said. The practice failed to contact Allen and assign the new counselor, and Allen himself failed to follow up, Morris said.
After Allen was discharged from Clinical Associates, Morris ordered him to treatment at Bert Nash, which Allen started going to but quit and was discharged from this spring.
Allen told the judge that he’d gone to Heartland Community Health Center for a medical issue and learned they offered mental health treatment that was cheaper, so he signed up and started going to that instead.
Morris said he confirmed Allen met with a counselor at Heartland in April and May of this year, but after talking to Heartland staff further in May, Morris determined Heartland’s offerings weren’t the level Allen needed.
Morris said that his conversations or emails with previous counselors indicated that Allen was doing well, they had a good rapport, Allen was reporting and he shouldn’t have concerns. However, Morris said that after he requested full documentation, it revealed Allen had missed appointments and reported using drugs.
As for Allen’s meth use, Morris said it’s standard practice to give offenders a choice if they test positive for drugs: Either an affidavit gets filed with the court, or the offender gets “internal sanctions” with Community Corrections and has to get more treatment.
When asked if he thought Allen’s welfare would be served by continuing on probation, Morris said no.
He said Allen only suggested going to inpatient treatment the day before his scheduled probation violations hearing. Also, Morris noted that Allen had repeatedly scheduled treatment appointments, which Morris had confirmed, and then didn’t go.
“In essence you’re manipulating the intent of the program, you’re manipulating the probation officer as well,” Morris said. “A probation officer can only do so much.”