Man convicted in Baldwin City robbery; 3 teen boys’ cases still in progress
photo by: Johnson County Detention Center
The sole adult suspect charged in connection with a reported Baldwin City robbery has been convicted and is set for sentencing next month.
Kylan Raphael Newman, 21, of Kansas City, Mo., was initially charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. On Dec. 30, he pleaded no contest and was convicted of attempted aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, according to information from the Douglas County district attorney’s office.
Three teen boys have also been charged in connection with the same incident. Each of the three — a 16-year-old Baldwin City boy, a 17-year-old Lawrence boy and a 16-year-old Wellsville boy — has been charged with aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, both felonies, and misdemeanor theft.
The Journal-World requested and recently received the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office affidavit supporting Newman’s arrest. Allegations in affidavits have not been proved in court, and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless and until they are convicted. Newman has now been convicted but the three juveniles have not, court records indicate.
The affidavit is heavily redacted — all names of witnesses and allegedly involved juveniles have been removed, making it difficult to determine precisely who is accused of doing what.
According to the affidavit:
One alleged victim, a female, reportedly told detectives that she heard a knock at the door of her apartment, which is in the 200 block of Washington Street in Baldwin City, on July 26, 2019. The time of day is not clear from the documents.
The woman reportedly said she saw “this little light skinned dude” through the peephole, but when she cracked open the door, four or five men forced the door open and entered. She said they were all wearing hoodies tied tight around their faces, and they had their mouths covered with bandanas.
She said that one of the males stood over her with a handgun pointed at her face, called her an expletive and pushed her onto the couch. She reportedly said the gun was a semiautomatic handgun with some sort of color on the side. The other males then reportedly started searching through the apartment and the woman’s purse.
The other alleged victim, a man, reportedly told investigators that he had been napping in the apartment’s single bedroom. He woke up and saw the suspects, and when they noticed him coming down the hall, they fled out the front door.
The man said he realized they’d probably be heading out through the apartment building’s east door, and he decided it would be quicker to go after them through the bedroom window. He dove through the closed bedroom window, shattering the glass and receiving some minor cuts in the process; he then chased the suspects north but lost sight of them, according to the affidavit.
The alleged victims reportedly told detectives that the suspects had taken about 2 ounces of marijuana and $850 in cash — the woman’s college tuition money and some of the man’s tips — that they kept in a shoe box.
One of the teen suspects reportedly walked by the apartment while investigators were on scene. When a detective asked the woman whether the teen walking by had been involved, the woman said no.
However, the man and woman reportedly told investigators a few days later that they thought they knew the identity of one of the teens because they’d seen him around town prior to the incident and knew that he lived nearby. The woman said she didn’t look that closely when he’d walked by “because she thought there was no way one of the suspects would be walking by her place just after the robbery,” according to the affidavit.
They also said they believed they were targeted because they had recently posted a photo on social media of the woman holding a large amount of cash.
Some witnesses in the neighborhood reportedly told investigators that they’d seen the four male suspects walking in the area, and they’d provided descriptions similar to those from the two alleged victims. Some residences nearby also had security footage showing some of the suspects arriving and leaving the area around the timeframe of the reported robbery, including video of the four running from the apartment, according to the affidavit.
The redactions in the affidavit make it difficult to determine which suspects were involved in talks with law enforcement in the weeks that followed, but Newman and another male were reportedly shown in a video recorded on one suspect’s cellphone about half an hour after the robbery.
“(One of the teens) and Newman appeared to be gesturing gang signs with their hands as they danced around the room,” the affidavit says.
The cellphone also contained some selfies of a suspect that were taken the day before the reported robbery. The images reportedly had captions that read “Soo excited”, “I get to use the new 45 soon enough” and “Keep that hoodie I’m not gonna want it with the bullet holes anyways.”
The day after the incident, investigators reportedly found, the cellphone had also been used to search the internet for the phrase “armed robbery Baldwin City KS”.
Investigators also obtained a warrant to search a Lawrence apartment, where they found a semiautomatic handgun with a purple grip; it belonged to Newman, who was staying in Lawrence at the time, according to the affidavit.
When Newman spoke to a detective with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, he admitted to being in Baldwin City the day of the incident but “would not confess his involvement,” the affidavit says. He then invoked his right to an attorney.
Newman’s attorney then told the detective Newman had said that only one gun was used in the robbery, and that Newman had more information about the robbery that he would provide at a later time, according to the affidavit. The attorney, who is not named in the document, later told the detective that Newman would not provide any further information.
The three teens who were allegedly involved have their next court appearances scheduled later this month and in February.
Douglas County Jail records indicated Monday that Newman remained in custody on $50,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 7.
Newman’s current defense attorney, Michael Clarke, who was appointed to the case well after the interview with detectives, did not respond to the Journal-World’s email seeking comment for this article.
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