Lawrence man convicted of aggravated robbery, attempted manslaughter in long-running shooting case

photo by: Journal-World file photo

Defense attorney Shaye Downing, standing, speaks in Douglas County District Court for her client Michael A. Hormell, seated, during a hearing on Jan. 7, 2020.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. Monday

A Douglas County jury on Monday found a Lawrence man guilty of two charges stemming from a 2018 shooting incident.

Michael Hormell, 21, was convicted of aggravated robbery and attempted voluntary manslaughter, Judge Amy Hanley said in court as she read the jury’s verdict. He was found not guilty of a third charge, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office said Monday afternoon.

Hormell’s sentencing is scheduled for May 21, according to court records.

According to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office, Hormell is facing up to 20.5 years in prison for the aggravated robbery conviction and a little more than 11 years for the attempted voluntary manslaughter conviction.

The case was the first to go to trial in the county since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in March 2020 and was conducted at the Douglas County Fairgrounds for public health and safety precautions.

District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, who prosecuted the case alongside Deputy Attorney Joshua Seiden, noted the length of the case in the news release and thanked the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for providing safety and security at the fairgrounds during the proceedings.

“Community safety is the top priority of this office,” Valdez said in the news release. “Even when things take longer, we can never lose sight of our objective to obtain justice for victims and survivors.”

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Michael A. Hormell, pictured in December 2019

The shooting happened around 5 p.m. Jan. 26, 2018, at Parnell Park, 901 E. 15th St. Hormell was 18 at the time of the incident.

According to the police affidavit in the case, Hormell and his then-girlfriend, Ardyn D. Pannell, set up a drug buy with plans to rob the seller, another teen. However, the teen fought back and Hormell shot him, the affidavit alleges. The teen was flown to an area hospital in critical condition and later stabilized, the Journal-World reported.

Hormell is also facing charges in other pending cases. In January 2020, Hormell was bound over for trial on a charge of criminal discharge of a firearm. A home in the 700 block of Arkansas Street was hit by gunfire that investigators believed to be from a shotgun on Jan. 6, 2018, and prosecutors allege that it was Hormell who fired the shots.

In February 2020, Hormell was released from the Douglas County Jail on a $100,000 surety bond, but he was arrested again in April 2020, this time on suspicion of armed robbery, the Journal-World reported. According to court records, he is charged with aggravated robbery and criminal possession of a firearm in that case. Hormell remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail.

The trials for these other cases are set to take place in June and July, according to court records.

Hormell was also previously convicted and sentenced to time served in a separate case in which a jury on Aug. 26, 2019, found him guilty of firing into a home in the 400 block of North Street on Jan. 24, 2018. Five adults and two children were inside, but nobody was injured, the Journal-World reported.

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