Lawrence man charged with threatening students with assault rifle near Free State High School, given own-recognizance bond

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

A Lawrence police car is pictured at Free Sate High School on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

A Lawrence man was charged on Thursday with threatening students with an assault rifle near Free State High School and was not required to put up any money to bond out of jail.

The man, Maurice De’Anton Thomas Buckner, 32, is charged with one felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two felony counts of criminal threat against two juveniles and one misdemeanor count of battery against one of the juveniles, according to charging documents.

Buckner was arrested after an incident on Wednesday just south of the Free State campus, 4700 Overland Drive, after the school’s early dismissal, as the Journal-World reported. Julie Boyle, a spokesperson with the school district, said the altercation was between three students and two adults who were unaffiliated with the school, and that one student reported a possible hand injury after the incident.

The charging documents state that Buckner allegedly opened “the rear door of a car and obtain(ed) an assault rifle near numerous high school students after fighting with several students and exchanging words with them.”

Police said that witnesses fled during the incident, and that anyone who witnessed it should call dispatch at 785-832-7509 or Crime Stoppers at 843-TIPS.

Court records indicate that Buckner was given a $50,000 own-recognizance bond during his first court appearance on Thursday afternoon, meaning he was not required to put up any money to be released from jail, but may be charged that amount if he fails to appear in court. He had been released as of 5:15 p.m. Thursday, according to the Douglas County Jail booking logs. The records also show that he plans to retain his own attorney.

Buckner is next scheduled to appear in court for a status conference on May 10.


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