Sole remaining defendant who hasn’t entered a plea in attack on off-duty Lawrence police officer is ordered to stand trial for attempted murder

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center is pictured on Nov. 27, 2023.

The only man left of five who hasn’t entered a plea in connection with an attack on an off-duty Lawrence police officer was ordered on Friday to stand trial for attempted murder.

The man, Zachary Taylor Maddux, 19, of Lawrence, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of attempted first-degree murder, according to charging documents.

The charge relates to an attack on Lawrence police officer Austin Corbitt when he was off duty in the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, 2022, when Maddux along with four co-defendants is alleged to have stalked, harassed, battered with a tire iron and fired a gun to scare Corbitt near the intersection of Bob Billings Parkway and George Williams Way, as the Journal-World reported. Police do not believe Corbitt was targeted because he was a police officer.

Maddux appeared on Friday for a preliminary hearing at which the state, represented by Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Tatum and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald, first put on the record that it had offered Maddux a plea.

Tatum said that the state offered Maddux the chance to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery, a midlevel felony. She said that if Maddux took the deal the state would recommend a sentence of 172 months, or 14.3 years, in prison since Maddux has the highest criminal history score possible on the Kansas sentencing grid. She said Maddux rejected the offer.

Corbitt took the stand on Friday to testify for the second time in connection with the case. The first time was at the preliminary hearing for co-defendant Xaviar Dean Anderson, 20, of Lawrence, back in February. Since then Anderson and the other co-defendants, Addison Jon Leo Giullian, 19, of Lawrence; Jackson Eugene Brouhard, 20, of Lawrence; and a then 17-year-old boy, have entered into plea agreements with the state to resolve their charges.

Corbitt repeated his testimony from the February hearing that he was out for a walk on his day off from working the night shift with the Lawrence Police Department and was attacked by Maddux, who threatened to kill him before striking him with a crowbar. When Corbitt fled, Maddux and the others chased him in their vehicle and fired a gun in an effort to scare him, as the Journal-World reported.

Detective Josh Leitner testified in February at Anderson’s preliminary hearing that based on Anderson’s statement to police after the incident that Brouhard was the driver of the vehicle; Anderson gave Maddux the tire iron Corbitt believed was a crowbar; Giullian fired a pistol at Corbitt to scare him after the assault; and the minor joined Maddux during the attack but did not strike or swing at Corbitt.

After Corbitt’s testimony Friday, Tatum said that “Officer Corbitt’s” testimony warranted the attempted murder charge. She then corrected herself noting that Corbitt was not on duty at the time.

“I call him ‘officer,’ but he was a civilian. This could have happened to any one of us,” Tatum said.

Maddux’s attorney, KiAnn Caprice, declined to argue against the charge.

Judge Stacey Donovan then ordered Maddux to stand trial on the charge and scheduled Maddux to be arraigned on Jan. 2, 2024. He is currently being held on a $250,000 cash or surety bond.

Juvenile court records

With Maddux’s criminal history, he could face a minimum of 592 months, or just short of 50 years in prison, if he is convicted of the attempted murder charge, according to sentencing guidelines.

According to court records, Maddux was charged as a minor in Douglas County with eight misdemeanors and nine felonies between November 2019 and December 2021. His felony charges include multiple counts of aggravated battery in separate incidents in which the victims were a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old and a juvenile corrections officer. Other felony charges include robbery, two counts of theft, and interference with law enforcement, also in separate incidents. He was in and out of custody of Douglas County Youth Services throughout that time.

All 13 cases were resolved as part of a plea agreement in January of 2022, when he pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated battery on a corrections officer and one count of robbery, all felonies. He was sentenced to 10 months in a juvenile correctional facility, according to court records.

Co-defendants’ pleas

Brouhard pleaded guilty in February to one felony count of reckless aggravated battery and was sentenced to three years of probation with an underlying sentence of 34 months in prison.

Giullian pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in March and was sentenced to 11 months in prison in May.

The juvenile, who was 17 at the time of the incident, pleaded no contest to one felony count of aggravated battery in March and was sentenced to nine months of probation.

Anderson pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and one count of aggravated intimidation of a victim, both felonies. Anderson was scheduled to be sentenced in November but records of his sentencing have yet to be filed. At his plea hearing, Tatum said Anderson was eligible for probation and she would recommend an underlying sentence of 19 months, as the Journal-World reported.

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Jackson Eugene Brouhard, left to right, Addison Jon Leo Giullian, Xaviar Dean Anderson

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