Johnson County Attorney Releases Trial Updates

Johnson County and Prosecuting Attorney Ken DeCock.
Johnson County and Prosecuting Attorney Ken DeCock.

Johnson County and Prosecuting Attorney Ken DeCock's office has released information on trials that occurred in July and August in Johnson County District Court.

On June 28th, Tiffany Fitzgerald of Buffalo plead guilty to one count of child endangerment from charges stemming from methamphetamine found at Fitzgerald's residence where she lived with her child. In a plea agreement, the State recommended the maximum sentence of 4 1/2 to 5 years in prison suspended in favor of five years supervised probation and the condition that she complete substance abuse counseling.

On July 1st, David Johnson, after earlier pleading guilty to one count of DUI with children in the vehicle, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of felony child abuse, was sentenced to 90 days in county jail for the DUI and reckless endangering charges. On the child abuse charges Johnson was sentenced to 4 ½ to 5 years suspended in favor of 5 years of supervised probation.

On July 8th, Christopher Ball entered a plea of guilty to one count of Burglary and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Burglary as part of a plea agreement in which six other counts were dismissed. Ball is the last of four persons charged with auto burglaries that occurred in December, 2012. As part of the agreement the State will recommend a sentence of 5 to 7 years in prison suspended in favor of 6 months in jail and 7 years of supervised probation. Sentencing will be on August 26th.

On July 12th a preliminary hearing was held in Circuit Court in the case of State v. Jacob Sundquist. After responding to reports of shots fired, Officer’s located Mr. Sundquist in his residence. There were two bullet holes in the floor of the residence and three shells outside the front door. The State presented evidence that Sundquist was enraged with the victim. Sundquist got a revolver from his garage and threatened the victim; a struggle for the gun ensued and two
shots were fired into the floor. Sundquist’s wife was able to get the gun away from the struggling men and flee the scene. The victim broke away from Sundquist and ran from the residence, jumping in his vehicle and driving away. As the victim left the residence, Sunquist
grabbed a 22.250 rifle and fired three shots at the vehicle. Two shots hit the vehicle and one appears to have ricocheted off the front windshield. The State charged Sundquist with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of attempted murder. Circuit Court Judge Cundiff found this evidence insufficient to find probable cause that Sundquist was trying to kill the victim and dismissed the attempted murder charge. Judge Cundiff did bind the two aggravated
assault charges up to District Court where Sundquist will be arraigned and enter a plea. The State has re-filed the charge of attempted murder.

Benjamin Kent and Joseph Kelly were both sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison for the arson of Joy Appliance/Radio Shack. The sentences were suspended in favor of 5 years’ supervised probation. The Court took the issue of restitution under advisement and will make a decision within the next few days.

On July 15th, Andrew Atkins plead guilty to one count of Burglary, one count of Possession of Stolen Property and one count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, methamphetamine.
Charges arose out of a series of storage shed burglaries and an operation by the Division of Criminal Investigation. Atkins plea is the result of a plea agreement in which the State will recommend that Atkins receive concurrent sentences of 5 to 7 years in prison on
the Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property Offenses; after completing this sentence, Atkins will then be placed on probation for a period of 10 years on the deliver charge. Sentencing is set for September 27th.

On July 22nd Tory Selwyn plead guilty to one count of Aggravated Assault. Selwyn, while intoxicated, got into an argument with her significant other and stabbed him in the shoulder with a
knife; the injuries were not substantial or life threatening. There is no agreement regarding sentencing, which is set for September 27th.

On July 26th, Richard Wilkerson was sentenced to twenty 20 to 40 years in prison after being convicted by a jury of second degree murder for the death of Brian Newman after an
altercation at the Century Club Bar on September 22, 2012.

In a two day jury trial that was held on July 29th and 30th, a jury found James Cody Brothers Guilty of Family Violence Battery. The conviction is Brothers’ third in the past two years.
Brothers faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and is currently being held without bond pending sentencing, which is set for September 27th.

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