Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that today a jury convicted Kansas City, Missouri resident Danneisha Nesbitt, 28, of aggravated robbery. The case proceeded to a jury trial after Nesbitt rejected a plea offer made by the State.
Investigation into the case began on Thursday, November 3, 2016 when an officer with the Lawrence Police Department was dispatched to a disturbance in the 800 block of Massachusetts Street. Officers would later learn that four women entered a retail store on Massachusetts Street specifically to scout it for the possibility of stealing jeans. The group decided three of them would steal the jeans and one person, later determined to be Nesbitt, would wait in the getaway vehicle.
The group returned to the store approximately 20 minutes later, pulled plastic shopping bags from their waistbands and began throwing dozens of pairs of very expensive jeans into the bags. Employee/victim #1 confronted the group and told them if they would leave the jeans that she would not call the police. One of the women in the group told another woman to mace employee #1. Another woman in the group proceeded to spray employee #1 in the face with pepper spray. Employee #1 turned and ran to the door to try to prevent the suspects from leaving with the jeans and employee/victim #2 attempted to assist employee #1 in stopping the group. In doing so, employee #2 was also sprayed with pepper spray. The group pushed past both of the employees and ran out of the store. The employees sought medical care later that evening for the effects of the pepper spray to the face.
The group attempted to leave the store with a total of 26 pairs of men’s Rock Revival jeans that had a value of $4,294. They were successful in stealing 4 pair that had a value of $805.00. They were forced to drop 22 pairs of jeans that had a value of $3,489.
Nesbitt’s jury trial began in the Division Six Courtroom on Wednesday, May 30 with jury selection. Opening statements were delivered later in the day. The case continued the remainder of Wednesday and all day Thursday. Closing statements were delivered this morning and the case went to the jury at about 1:15 p.m. The jury returned its verdict today at approximately 3:45.
Nesbitt faces 55 to 247 months in prison for her felony conviction. Her actual sentence will depend on her prior criminal history. The Court ordered her GPS monitoring to continue while a pre-sentence investigation is completed and scheduled sentencing on July 17 at 1:30 p.m.
The Honorable Peggy C. Kittel presided over the trial. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and Senior Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan prosecuted the case.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor