Lawrence man, 20, sentenced to probation in armed robbery case

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, which houses Douglas County District Court and a number of other criminal justice services at 111 E. 11th St., is pictured April 8, 2020.

A judge on Tuesday sentenced the second of three men charged in connection with an armed robbery case to three years of probation.

Isaak A. Torkelson, 20, of Lawrence, was charged in May with aggravated robbery for allegedly stealing a man’s phone while threatening him with a hammer, or in the alternative, inflicting harm on the man during the course of a robbery.

Torkelson’s charge, a level-3 felony, was the most serious offense of the three charged in connection with the case. The incident was reported to police just after 6 p.m. March 19 in the 2900 block of Missouri Street, Lawrence Police Department spokesman Patrick Compton said via email at the time. The alleged victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries, Compton said.

Torkelson had remained in the custody of the Douglas County Jail on a $50,000 cash or surety bond for about seven months as his case was pending, though he was eligible for pretrial release. He pleaded no contest to attempted aggravated robbery on Aug. 27, court documents show.

On Tuesday, Torkelson’s attorney, Hatem Chahine, asked Douglas County District Court Judge Stacey Donovan to sentence Torkelson to probation rather than to prison. Chahine said Torkelson had completed inpatient treatment for substance use and that he had set up a plan to continue any mental health and substance use treatment he would need once he was released. In addition, Torkelson had no criminal history.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Southall said that because Torkelson was in treatment and planned to continue it after his release, the state wouldn’t object to probation.

Donovan agreed, and she said she believed that in this case probation would promote offender reform. She told Torkelson that she wanted him to know the case was very serious and should his probation be revoked, he would have to serve 32 months in prison, followed by two years of post-release supervision.

“You’ve been doing a good job, and I’m confident you can continue to do a good job and not come back before the court,” Donovan told Torkelson. “I wish you luck.”

One co-defendant, 22-year-old Patrick Q. Noonan, of Linwood, was charged with attempted aggravated robbery, a midlevel-severity felony. According to the charging document in his case, Noonan was accused of punching the alleged victim in the head repeatedly and demanding money from him. On Aug. 12, Noonan pleaded no contest to the charge, and Donovan sentenced him Sept. 28 to three years of probation.

The other co-defendant, Lawson R. Marshall, 22, of De Soto, is accused of pointing a gun at the alleged victim, and he has been charged with attempted aggravated robbery. Marshall was set for a preliminary hearing, which his attorney moved to continue as he discussed a plea with prosecutors; however, Marshall was recently charged in a new case with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, counterfeiting and unlawful distribution of a simulated controlled substance. Both cases are pending.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office previously declined the Journal-World’s request for the men’s booking photos and did not immediately respond to a second request sent Tuesday. The Journal-World has requested but not received the probable cause affidavits supporting the three men’s arrests.

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May 7, 2020: Three men charged in connection with reported armed robbery in Lawrence


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