A former resident of the state’s sexual predator treatment program received 19 years in prison on Monday for threatening a driver with a plastic knife in February 2020.

Randy E. Snodgrass, 60, was charged in Labette County District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a level one felony, aggravated battery, a lower-level felony, and aggravated escape from custody, a mid-level felony. In October, he pleaded to an amended charge, aggravated robbery, a level three felony. The remaining counts were dismissed.

The charges against Snodgrass resulted from a Feb. 3, 2020, incident while he was being driven back to Parsons State Hospital and Training Center from Independence. He allegedly escaped the transport van near Ness Road and U.S. 400 after holding a plastic knife to the driver’s throat. A law enforcement search of the area after the escape was fruitless.

A Neosho County sheriff’s deputy captured Snodgrass 13 hours after his escape walking along K-47 near Ness Road.

Snodgrass was in the state’s sexual predator treatment program. The program allows a person to be indefinitely confined through a civil commitment order that is overseen by a judge as long as the resident has a mental abnormality or personality disorder and is likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence.

Generally, the inmate is transferred into the program after serving a state prison sentence. The law that created the program has been in place since 1994 and has been amended a number of times.

Snodgrass’ crimes that landed him in prison were from a sexual assault in Douglas County. On Nov. 1, 1990, Snodgrass asked a neighbor’s daughter to come to his mother’s house to help because his mother allegedly had fallen. The neighbor reluctantly entered the house and Snodgrass raped and sodomized her. Snodgrass had held a knife to her throat before the attack, and after the attack he threatened to kill her family if she told anyone what happened. Police arrested Snodgrass the next morning and found him hiding in a crawl space of his mother’s house, according to a factual summary included in his appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. He was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sodomy, rape and aggravated assault. He served about 23 years for the crimes before he was placed at Larned State Hospital for the sex offender program. He arrived at PSHTC in December 2019 and was in the third tier of the treatment program, a phase that involves finding work, managing income and constructively structuring free time. After tier three, the program moves toward eventual community placement.

On Monday, Judge Fred W. Johnson sentenced Snodgrass, who has a criminal history score of A under Kansas Sentencing Guidelines. This is the top category under the law and requires the maximum prison term range for any felony conviction. Snodgrass could have received the maximum 247 months in prison, the minimum of 221 months or the standard term of 233 months. Snodgrass already has to register for life under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. Under KORA, certain sex offenses, violent offenses and drug offenses require registration quarterly with the sheriff for a certain number of years, or after a move. This act allows crime victims and other members of the public to see what offenders live nearby. Snodgrass’ Douglas County convictions predated the registration act. However, his inclusion in the sex offender treatment program included a finding in July 2013 that he was a sexually violent predator, so he has to register under KORA because of that.

Judge Johnson imposed the standard prison term for Snodgrass, 233 months, or 19.4 years. He gave Snodgrass credit for 655 days in custody while his case was pending. 

Snodgrass did not make a statement when given the opportunity before his sentence was pronounced.

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