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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Assault trial continues

  • The second day of a trial for man accused of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer ended Tuesday with testimony from an officer who said he witnessed the defendant pointing a gun at police.
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  • The second day of a trial for man accused of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer ended Tuesday with testimony from an officer who said he witnessed the defendant pointing a gun at police.
    The trial of John James Baskas is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning with additional witnesses for the prosecution.
    Baskas is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, cultivation of marijuana, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, violating the drug tax stamp law, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
    The charges stem from a June 21, 2011, police search of a residence at 1104 N. 12th St. where Baskas was living with his parents.
    Baskas is accused of pointing a gun at a police officer as members of the Leavenworth Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics Team entered the residence to execute a search warrant.
    Baskas was shot by police Sgt. Neil Vogel, but he survived his injuries.
    In court Tuesday, police Sgt. Steve Herring testified that he was behind Vogel when he saw Baskas pointing a gun in the direction of the two officers.
    Herring said Baskas had both hands on the grips of a handgun. The police sergeant testified that the defendant had his arms extended and was crouching.
    After being wounded, Baskas said, "I can't believe you shot me," according to the testimony.
    Herring said, after the shooting, he removed bullets from Baskas' gun including a round that was in the chamber of the 9 mm pistol.
    David Wright, a forensic scientist with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, testified Tuesday that the handgun had been tested and was found to be a functioning firearm.
    Much of the day was taken up by testimony from police Detective Matthew Nickel.
    He participated in the search at the Baskas residence. He testified Tuesday about a number of items that were collected during the search including various bags of green vegetation, some of which were in brick form, and a number of firearms.
    Several of the bags of green vegetation were tested, and the results indicated the substance was marijuana, according to testimony provided Monday by a KBI scientist.
    Nickel testified Tuesday about what he believed to be a small marijuana growing operation in the basement of Baskas' home.
    Plants found in the basement were submitted to the KBI, but they were not tested.
    "They chose not to test it," Nickel said.

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