Man pleads to lesser charge in knife incident downtown; he committed crime while on probation for attacking pedestrians

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Deonte Jackson

A man was convicted of misdemeanor endangerment Friday in Douglas County District Court after he had originally faced a far more serious charge of felony aggravated assault with a knife.

Deonte Darrell Jackson, 35, was on probation on Aug. 24, 2023, when he approached a man in a delivery truck with a knife in downtown Lawrence. The crime he was on probation for at the time was a violent, and seemingly random, attack on pedestrians on Massachusetts Street just a few months earlier, in May, when he approached two people and began punching and shoving them, as the Journal-World reported.

In that case, he pleaded down felony aggravated battery charges to misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, but that sentence was suspended to probation.

While on probation, he entered the delivery truck of a man who was supplying a local restaurant, approached the man with a knife and called him an obscenity.

The delivery man said at Jackson’s preliminary hearing that he felt like he was going to get stabbed or that he would have to stab Jackson in self-defense.

On Friday, Jackson, represented by attorney Dakota Loomis, entered a no contest plea in the August incident and acknowledged that it was a violation of the probation he had received in the May incident.

Judge Stacey Donovan was set to sentence Jackson after this most recent plea, but put that off until next week, so that the parties could determine exactly how much jail time he would be credited with. The initial number mentioned by Assistant District Attorney Samantha Foster was 295 days of credit.

The plea agreement contemplates a “time-served outcome” for Jackson, who has been in jail for the latest incident since August, Loomis said, but Donovan is not bound by any agreement between Loomis and Foster.

Loomis also indicated that his client was unhoused. He told the court that he was looking into getting Jackson a spot at the Lawrence Community Shelter but he would not have an answer regarding that option until next week.


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