A Parsons man received a 13-month prison term on Wednesday for breaking into three vehicles in July 2019.

But he’s been in the Labette County Jail long enough that he’s only a day short of serving that sentence. Because of that, the man will begin parole supervision.

Nicholas E. Gaskins II, 33, was arrested in July 2019 by Parsons police responding to a call of a man bleeding and armed with a knife in the 1500 block of Corning.

During the investigation police discovered Gaskins had become upset and damaged a vehicle and injured his hands in the process, causing the bleeding that was reported. Gaskins took off on foot after giving a knife and gun to his sister, police said in a prepared statement in 2019. Officers began getting reports of Gaskins being in the park and in other areas of town. Police then received a report that a Chevrolet El Camino was driving erratically on 16th Street heading toward Walmart. Officer Kyle Shields found the vehicle, which had been stolen, and Gaskins at Walmart allegedly harassing the original victims from the damaged vehicle. The El Camino was stolen from the 2200 block of Clark and it had substantial damage to it.

Police arrested an unarmed Gaskins on a Parsons municipal warrant. Gaskins was also the primary suspect in multiple vehicle burglaries and attempted vehicle burglaries.

In November, Gaskins pleaded no contest to three counts of vehicle burglary and the remaining 10 counts of burglary were dismissed. His attorney, Shane Adamson, said his client agreed to pay restitution on all charges.

On Wednesday, Judge Steve Stockard noted that Gaskins had a criminal history score of B. This means he has two person felonies on his record and that most felony convictions would result in a prison term. In Gaskins’ case, he has served 389 days in jail awaiting the conclusion of his case and his prison sentence, as pronounced by Stockard, was a controlling 390 days on the three charges.

Stockard ordered Gaskins to be on parole supervision for a year once he’s released from jail. Stockard also ordered Gaskins to pay restitution to the three victims of the burglaries, $10,792.13. This amount includes money to the sheriff’s office. Gaskins also has court and attorney costs to pay, adding another $1,538 to his total.

Adamson said his client is disabled and cannot work and suggested the balance be turned over to collections.


In an unrelated case, a Parsons man who led police on a 28-mile vehicle chase into Neosho County in September 2019 pleaded to two felonies related to the incident. The man and his passenger were caught after they were seen floating on a log in the Neosho River. The two left the river and were on 60th Road near Wallace Road when captured.

Langston W. Polk, 25, and Katrina M. Beach, 34, were arrested on Sept. 1, 2019. The two are alleged to have broken into a concession stand building at Babe Ruth League baseball fields at Winway Park, stealing 20 rolls of toilet paper, paint trays, paint rollers and cans of paint.

Polk faced two cases, one alleging the burglary and the chase and the other related to $250,000 in savings bonds found in his possession.

On Wednesday, he pleaded no contest to non-residential burglary and fleeing and eluding police, both lower level felonies. 

Polk will be sentenced on Feb. 24. Beach’s case is set for jury trial later this month, although it is not clear if the case will go because of COVID-19 restrictions.


In other cases:

— Clarissa A. Turnbough, born in 1991, received 32 months in prison, suspended, and probation through community corrections for a year for possession of methamphetamine, a low-level felony. She could have received a prison term because of her criminal history but she has signed up for drug counseling and other treatment through Labette Center for Mental Health Services, she told Judge Stockard. Stockard said he had concerns about Turnbough’s demeanor. He admonished her to take off a stocking cap during the Zoom sentencing hearing and again when she started to smoke. But he agreed to grant her probation over prison and give her an opportunity to prove her sincerity. He also ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation and follow recommendations and submit to breath or urine tests for drugs during probation.

— Jake E. Cervantes, 33, 2001 Ash, charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault, asked for a reduction in bond through his attorney Mark Fern on Wednesday. Judge Stockard previously reduced Cervantes’ bond from $50,000 to $20,000. Fern asked on Wednesday that the bond be reduced to $7,500 to allow Cervantes to get back to his employment at Sonic Drive-In. Cervantes said he was one of the jail inmates sickened by COVID-19 in December and that he’s doing better. He wants to be able to make some money rather than sit in jail, he said. Labette County Attorney Stephen Jones was concerned about public safety if Cervantes is released. It’s not that he fears Cervantes would commit a crime but that the crime charged is a violent felony. Cervantes said he would live with his fiancee in the 1800 block of Dirr if released. Stockard agreed to reduce the bond to $10,000 after inquiring about Cervantes’ criminal record. The judge also scheduled an in-person preliminary hearing for Cervantes on March 17. Cervantes allegedly entered a rural Altamont home in August and was shot once by the homeowner. He was found bleeding from the chest on U.S. 59 at 17000 Road early the morning of Aug. 18, 2020, and taken to Labette Health and then Freeman Hospital in Joplin.

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