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County News
Posted Monday, April 15, 2019 - 2:32pm

Douglas County and partner agencies will provide an update about behavioral health initiatives during a community event “New Directions in Behavioral Health” 5:30-7 p.m. May 6 in the Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707 Vermont St. The event is free, open to the public and being held in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

Posted Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 2:53pm

Longtime Douglas County District Attorney’s Office employee Cindy Riling was honored today at the 22nd Annual Crime Victims’ Rights Conference with the state’s 2019 Crime Victims Service Award in the System-Based Advocate category. The award was presented at a luncheon today by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.


Posted Monday, April 8, 2019 - 12:55pm

As Director of Criminal Justice Services, Pam Weigand oversees the Juvenile Detention Center, Youth Services and Adult Services. These services include: juvenile intake and assessment, day school, truancy prevention and diversion program, community services, juvenile and adult community corrections, behavioral health court, pretrial release and house arrest. She has about 60 staff members and an annual budget of $4.5 million.

Posted Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 10:58am

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that former Lawrence resident Albert N. Wilson, 23, was sentenced yesterday (4/3/2019) after being found guilty at his January 2019 jury trial for crimes committed in September of 2016. The Court sentenced Wilson to the mitigated sentence of 147 months for rape by force or fear. As part of his sentence Wilson will be subject to lifetime post release supervision and lifetime sex offender registration.


Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 2:46pm

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces today (April 3, 2019) that Topeka resident Ahmad Rayton, 23, pleaded guilty to attempted voluntary manslaughter for attempting to kill Robert Wheeler during the deadly confrontation that occurred on October 1, 2017 on Massachusetts Street. 

Sentencing is scheduled for May 8 at 3:30 p.m.  Rayton faces up to 136 months in the Custody of the Kansas Secretary of Corrections.  His actual sentence will be dependent upon his prior criminal history. 

Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 5:18pm

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that two juveniles had court appearances today (Tuesday, April 2, 2019) in Douglas County District Court for their involvement with the double shooting that occurred Friday afternoon at Holcom Park.  The Court determined both juveniles would be detained and would remain in the custody of the Juvenile Detention Center. 

Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 5:20pm

This case presented our office with an extremely unique set of facts.  Clearly Ms. Blood was negligent during the deployment of her firearm. Kansas law, however, provides little to no guidance on how to proceed in these circumstances. Kansas, unlike some states, does not recognize criminal negligence.  Kansas does recognize reckless conduct.  To determine whether or not probable cause existed that Ms. Blood acted recklessly, the Court had to determine whether “a trier of fact could conclude with the evidence presented that Ms.

Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:43am

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear two cases in a special session Monday, April 1, at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, as part of its ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

It will be the Supreme Court’s first visit to Lawrence in the court’s 158-year history, and it will be only the 10th time the court will hear cases in the evening.

Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:24am

Mary Kay Howe is a staunch advocate of the country's judicial system.

"I'm proud of our court system and the way it works. It's a very fair system, and I enjoy being a part of that," she said.

Her part—since 1975—has been as a court reporter. She records a court's oral proceedings so that what was said can be read back in court or referenced later. "I've enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the courts, listening to the stories. I think I've heard everything after 43 years, but it seems there's something new every week," she added.

Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 6:16pm

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission is seeking nominations to fill a district judge vacancy in Douglas County created by the June 15 retirement of Judge Paula Martin.

The 7th Judicial District is composed of Douglas County.

Justice Eric Rosen, the Supreme Court departmental justice responsible for the 7th Judicial District, said individuals can apply or be nominated, but nominations must come on a nomination form and include the nominee's signature.

A nominee for district judge must be:

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