Sentencing delayed for man in burglary, assault case that relied on Google ‘geofence’ data
photo by: KBI Violent Offender Registry
A man who was scheduled to receive a sentence Monday for multiple crimes related to stalking a woman and breaking into her central Lawrence home instead received a new appointed attorney and a delay in the disposition of his case.
A jury on Sept. 20 found Lee Andrew Mitchell Pennington, 34, of Lawrence, guilty of felony aggravated burglary, felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor stalking — in a case that relied on surveillance video, Google “geofence” data and DNA evidence taken from the woman’s windowsill, as the Journal-World previously reported.
Pennington was accused of following the woman home sometime before 5 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2021, entering her bedroom in the 1400 block of Kentucky Street, covering her mouth to prevent her from screaming and then fleeing the scene.
At trial, Pennington acknowledged having been in the area the night of the incident, but said that he was selling drugs at a nearby residence, the location of which Google may have detected, and was not actually in the woman’s house.
On Monday in court, Pennington expressed displeasure with virtually every facet of the case, including the judge, whom he implied should recuse herself; the prosecution, whom he accused of not sufficiently placing him at the crime scene; the jury; media coverage and, most notably, his own defense attorney, against whom he has filed a disciplinary action.
It was not clear what his complaint against his appointed attorney, Carol Cline, was, but it prompted her to file a motion to withdraw from Pennington’s case on the grounds that their communications were so substantially impaired that she could no longer effectively represent him.
As Cline sat at the defense table, Pennington stood and directed a number of questions at Judge Amy Hanley — saying he was “not trying” to make her “mad” — regarding the fairness of his trial, almost all of which she noted would be inappropriate for her to address.
Hanley granted Cline’s motion to quit the case and appointed a different attorney, Cooper Overstreet, to represent Pennington. She set a hearing for Nov. 30 to schedule a new sentencing date for Pennington, who remains in the Douglas County Jail.
Pennington has previously been convicted of violent felonies in Douglas County. In 2008, he was convicted of multiple counts of aggravated robbery with a weapon and was sentenced to 132 months, or 11 years, in prison, according to court records. He is ordered to register as a violent offender as a result of those crimes until 2033, according to KBI records.
In the current case, Pennington faces 38 to 172 months (or approximately three to 14 years) in prison for his conviction of aggravated burglary, 11 to 34 months for aggravated assault and up to 12 months in county jail for the stalking conviction.