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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Leavenworth man sentenced to 20.5 years for child molestation

  • A Leavenworth man was sentenced Friday to 20.5 years in prison for molesting a child.
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  • A Leavenworth man was sentenced Friday to 20.5 years in prison for molesting a child.
    Thomas A. Bradshaw was sentenced in Leavenworth County District Court for rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated indecent solicitation of a child.

    He pleaded guilty to the charges Oct. 31 as part of a plea agreement. He could have faced a life sentence if the case had gone to trial.

    The crimes occurred Aug. 16 in Leavenworth and involved an 11-year-old child, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.

    Bradshaw had moved to Leavenworth from Illinois earlier in the year to work for a construction company.

    During sentencing, defense attorney KiAnn McBratney read a written statement she said was from the victim's mother, who asked for leniency for Bradshaw.

    "He deserves punishment, but most of all, he needs help," the victim's mother said in the written statement.

    Bradshaw's mother also spoke during sentencing and asked for leniency for her son.
    McBratney said Bradshaw was crying and unable to address the court when he was given the opportunity.

    When imposing the sentence, District Judge Gunnar Sundby said he had listened carefully to the comments of those who asked for leniency and he takes comments into consideration.

    He said the Kansas Legislature has determined sex crimes a very serious matter. He said the Legislature has established lengthy sentences as a deterrent.

    Sundby said Bradshaw had received leniency through the plea agreement.
    "Instead of life, you are getting 246 months (20.5 years)," Sundby said.
    Inmate sentenced for escape

    A Lansing Correctional Facility inmate has been sentenced to more than 10 years for escaping earlier this year.

    Randy A. Ridens, Sr., 58, was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court for one count of aggravated escape from custody. He pleaded guilty to the charge last month.
    He escaped from LCF on May 10, but was taken into custody later that day as he entered Topeka.

    Ridens already is serving a prison sentence for burglary and theft convictions in Shawnee and Douglas counties.

    A Kansas Department of Corrections website indicates his earliest possible release date is December 2014. But, this does not take into account his new sentence for the escape.
    Page 2 of 3 - The new sentence will run consecutive to the one Ridens already is serving.

    As part of a plea agreement, the prosecution recommended what was considered the mitigated sentence of 122 months, or 10 years and two months, for the escape charge.
    However, the defense was free to argue for a shorter sentence Friday.

    Defense attorney Benjamin Casad argued for a departure from the sentencing guidelines, suggesting a sentence as short as 18 months.

    District Judge Gunnar Sundby said there has to be a substantial or compelling reason to grant such a request.

    Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said he didn't believe there was a substantial or compelling reason for Ridens to have left prison.

    Casad said there were significant mitigating factors in case. He said his client believed his mother was terminally ill and about to die.

    Casad said Ridens suffered a brain injury as a child and may not have fully understood the consequences of leaving the prison.

    "He simply thought, 'I need to see my mother,'" Casad said.

    When given the opportunity to speak, Ridens apologized for escaping but said he felt he had to see his mother.

    "I just leave what happens to me in your hands," he told the judge.

    Sundby said he found no substantial or compelling reason to depart from the sentencing guidelines and imposed the 122-month sentence.

    Two other inmates, Allen Hurst and Scott Gilbert, also are alleged to have escaped LCF on May 10. They were apprehended in Missouri where they're facing multiple charges for allegedly firing shots at law enforcement officers and attempting to kidnap another man, according to prosecution officials in Platte County, Mo.

    The two inmates also have cases pending in Leavenworth County related to the alleged escape, Thompson said.
    Man sentenced to probation for battery of ex-girlfriend
    A Leavenworth man who was convicted last month of battering his pregnant ex-girlfriend was sentenced Friday to 18 months of probation.

    Richard T. Bennett, 27, had been charged with attempted first-degree murder of his former girlfriend, Lachelle Kemp, and their unborn child.

    A jury found him guilty last month of the less serious charge of aggravated battery as well as a criminal threat charge.

    Under state guidelines, the presumptive sentence in the case was probation.
    Page 3 of 3 -
    The charges stemmed from a June 18 incident during which Kemp was stabbed outside of a Leavenworth convenience store. Kemp was about seven months pregnant at the time with Bennett's daughter.

    Kemp had reported that Bennett attacked her with a knife and said he was going to kill her and their baby.

    Bennett testified during the trial that Kemp had been the aggressor, and he was defending himself.

    Their child later was born.

    Kemp died Oct. 16 after she came into contact with a downed power line. Her death was not related to injuries she suffered during the June 18 incident.
    Testimony Kemp gave during an Aug. 13 preliminary hearing was read during last month's trial.

    Kemp's mother and brother were in the courtroom for Friday's sentencing. A statement written by Kemp's mother, Lea Kemp, was read.

    "I feel justice wasn't served," Lea Kemp said in the statement.

    The victim's mother said Bennett could have killed her daughter and unborn child.

    When given the opportunity to speak, Bennett said he understood District Judge Gunnar Sundby had a job to do. The defendant said he hoped the judge made the right decision to the best of his ability.

    Assistant County Attorney Christopher Scott asked Sundby to impose the standard prison sentences for the two charges and order them to run consecutive for a total of 14 months.

    Scott acknowledged the sentence would be suspended under the law and Bennett would be placed on probation. But, Bennett could face the prison sentence if his probation is not successful.

    Defense attorney Clinton Lee said he felt it was appropriate for the suspended prison sentences for the two charges to be concurrent instead of consecutive.

    Sundby imposed what were considered the aggravated sentences for the two charges and ordered them to run consecutive for a total of 16 months.

    Sundby said the aggravated sentences were appropriate because the victim had been pregnant with Bennett's child.

    However, the judge said that under the law the case was "presumptive probation."

    Sundby said there was no substantial or compelling reason to overcome this presumption, so he suspended the prison sentence and ordered Bennett to serve 18 months of probation.

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