Baston works plea agreement with prosecutors
by Dennis Sharkey
A man who is accused of at least one burglary and possibly linked to several others pleaded guilty last week and is facing four years in prison.
Russell D. Baston, 44, is currently being held in the Douglas County Jail after being released last Thursday from the Jefferson County Jail after an appearance in district court where he entered a guilty plea to one count of burglary and one count of theft.
Baston appeared before District Court Judge Gary Nafziger with his attorney Mike Hayes to enter the plea. In exchange prosecutors dropped a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and a charge of criminal damage to property.
Baston led Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase March 17 in which he escaped by driving through a field in a large truck that had been reported stolen.
Baston was captured the next day at an apartment complex in Lawrence. Many of the items that were reported stolen in Jefferson County were found in Baston’s possession.
As part of the plea deal Baston will not be prosecuted for any other burglary or theft cases that the Sheriff’s department is currently working. Sheriff Jeff Herrig said in March that Baston was believed to be linked to a ring of burglaries.
Baston is currently waiting to be arraigned in Douglas County District Court on two counts of theft, two counts of failure to appear, a count of failure to comply, a count of obstruction and a count of battery of a law enforcement officer.
Baston also faces charges in Leavenworth County.
Sentencing for Baston in Jefferson County District Court will be Aug. 9. Baston is facing 47 months in prison for the two counts he pleaded guilty to.
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