A key witness in an aggravated burglary case didn’t show up for a hearing Wednesday, so the hearing was rescheduled for late April.
Jake E. Cervantes, 34, of Parsons is charged in Labette County District Court with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault, both felonies. The charges relate to a burglary last summer.
Law officers found Cervantes bleeding from the chest on U.S. 59 at 17000 Road early Aug. 18, 2020, after 911 dispatch received multiple motorist reports about seeing a man lying on U.S. 59. Cervantes was taken to Labette Health and then transferred to Freeman Hospital in Joplin for a gunshot wound to his chest area.
Deputies investigating the crime learned that Cervantes broke into a rural Altamont home. Sheriff Darren Eichinger wrote in a prepared statement at the time that Cervantes was allegedly armed with a knife. When the homeowner saw Cervantes inside the home, the homeowner shot him once with a 9 mm handgun. The shooting took place inside the house.
Eichinger said a bicycle and a pair of shorts were found on the driveway of the residence. A knife and a rubber glove were found on the porch.
A preliminary hearing was to take place on Wednesday. Cervantes, who has been in jail this time since Feb. 9 after a domestic battery arrest impacted bond conditions in the burglary case, appeared in court with his attorney Mark Fern. Labette County Attorney Stephen Jones told Judge Steve Stockard that his main witness, the woman who shot Cervantes, was served with a subpoena to appear in court. But when a deputy knocked on her door Wednesday morning she did not answer.
If she cannot be found, Jones said he may seek a material witness warrant for her.
Stockard asked of the chances that the witness would show up at the next hearing. Jones said given her interest in responding to the investigation he thought he had a good chance.
Fern said he didn’t object to the delay except that his client is in jail and would have to wait another month there. He said Stockard could dismiss the case and Jones could refile it once he establishes contact with the witness and see if she’s interested in testifying.
Stockard said he would consider dismissing the case if the witness were not interested in testifying. But he didn’t have the information to make that decision Wednesday. He said if she does not show up for the next hearing he would be inclined to dismiss the case. He agreed to reschedule the preliminary hearing to April 29.
Fern then asked about getting Cervantes’ bond reinstated. It had been revoked, apparently, because of Cervantes’ arrest for domestic battery. Fern asked Cervantes to speak to his plans if his bond were reinstated and he were released on his own recognizance.
Cervantes said he received treatment recently at Osawatomie State Hospital and was interested in getting help there this time so the process worked for him. He also has coping strategies in place and knows where to get help in the community. Staff provided anti-depressant and anxiety medication for him that cost him $5 at a local pharmacy for a month’s supply. He will set up counseling through Labette Center for Mental Health Services once he’s released from jail, he said.
“I know what I need to do. And that’s where I’m standing at right now is trying to get back out there and not end up falling in a hole again,” Cervantes said.
He wanted to stay with his fiancee in Parsons, but Stockard would not allow that given the history of domestic violence between them. Then Cervantes said he could stay with a friend at 1212 Crawford, with whom he’s stayed before when between homes and jobs.
Stockard reinstated Cervantes’ bond and ordered him to immediately go to LCMHS, get a case manager and schedule appointments. Cervantes will be under bond supervision during his release.
Cervantes said he hopes to get his old job back. Previously he said he worked at Sonic. But he needs to get his driver’s license renewed, he told the judge.
Stockard also told Cervantes to refrain from contact with his fiancee. Cervantes was released later Wednesday morning.
In other cases:
— Two cases against Robert J. Michael, born in 1984, 1432 S. 25th St., have been dismissed by the county attorney. Michael was charged with aggravated criminal sodomy, a high level felony, and distribution of methamphetamine, also a felony, in a second case. His attorney, Linus Thuston, said previously that the alleged victim in the sodomy case has made multiple allegations against different people. The county attorney dismissed the drug case for insufficient evidence but did not give a reason for dismissing the sodomy case.
— Jeffrey S. Wilson, 31, Iola, received a controlling prison term of 24 months in prison on a new conviction for forgery and for an older criminal case (three counts of counterfeiting and three counts of theft by deception) for which his probation was revoked. He was also ordered to pay $918.52 in restitution to Woodworth Enterprises of Parsons on the forgery case. He was given credit for 119 days in jail on the older case. Wilson’s Labette County prison terms will be served at the same time as any time assigned him in a Neosho County case, in which he is charged with distribution of methamphetamine. He will return to court in Neosho County on April 7. The forgery charge relates to checks found in a stolen car discovered at Thomas Implement on Dec. 19, 2019. The payroll checks were made out to Wilson from businesses where he didn’t work.
— Edward W. Behrmann, 33, Wichita, made a first appearance on a charge of aggravated domestic battery, a lower-level felony. The complaint alleges that the battery happened on June 3, 2020. Behrmann will return to court on April 5. Judge Fred W. Johnson set Behrmann’s bond at $20,000 based on the recommendation of Deputy County Attorney Mandy Johnson.
— Paul A. Atteberry, born in 1969, made a first appearance this week on two cases. In one, he’s charged with possession of methamphetamine, a felony, and two misdemeanors. In the second, he’s charged with residential burglary of 2020 Oak in Parsons and two misdemeanors, theft and criminal damage. Judge Johnson set bond at $30,000 total in the two cases and in a probation revocation case. Atteberry will return to court on March 31.
— A pretrial hearing was rescheduled to late April for Michael S. Jackson, 47, Parsons, who is charged in Labette County District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a level one felony, aggravated domestic battery (two counts), both level seven felonies, and endangering a child, a misdemeanor. The complaint alleges that the incidents occurred between Nov. 16 and 17, 2017. Jackson’s attorney, Shane Adamson, said on Thursday he needed additional time to contact a witness that his client wants him to contact and see if this person has information relevant to the case. Adamson related how he’s attempted to contact the man at his work, at his home and on the phone. Jackson will return to court on April 28.