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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defendant whose conviction was overturned pleads guilty

  • A man who once escaped from the Leavenworth County Jail has pleaded guilty in an unrelated drug case.
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  • A man who once escaped from the Leavenworth County Jail has pleaded guilty in an unrelated drug case.
    Raheem K. Armstead, 31, was convicted in 2012 in Leavenworth County District Court of possession of methamphetamine, obstruction of an official duty and driving without a valid license. But, that conviction was overturned earlier this year by the Kansas Court of Appeals, and the case was remanded to district court for a new trial.
    Armstead pleaded guilty to those three charges Wednesday.
    "There is a signed written plea agreement," said Armstead's attorney, Michael Willcott.
    As part of a plea agreement, there will be a recommendation that Armstead be sentenced to time already served with no additional prison time in the case, said Assistant County Attorney Adam Zentner.
    Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19.
    The three charges stem from a Dec. 27, 2011, incident in which Armstead reportedly abandoned a car and ran from Leavenworth police.
    Inside the vehicle, police reportedly found methamphetamine, according to court documents.
    Judges from the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed the earlier conviction because they found the district court judge made a mistake in allowing the prosecution to introduce evidence of prior convictions.
    During Wednesday's hearing, District Judge Gunnar Sundby asked Armstead if he was prepared to change his plea in the case.
    Armstead said he was prepared to plead guilty if it would close the case.
    Sundby said the case couldn't be concluded Wednesday because Armstead would have to be sentenced at a later date.
    "I have no reason not to follow the written recommendations," Sundby said.
    But, the judge said he is required to order a pre-sentencing report before sentencing.
    Armstead said he understood this.
    Zentner said Armstead initially was sentenced to 34 months in prison in the case. When he is sentenced next month, he will have served about 27 of the 34 months.
    Armstead also is serving prison sentences for several other charges including an escape, according to a Kansas Department of Corrections website.
    On Dec. 29, 2012, Armstead ran from the Leavenworth County Jail grounds as he and other trusties were escorted outside to dispose of trash. He was apprehended a few days later at a residence in Leavenworth. He later pleaded guilty to aggravated escape from custody and was sentenced to 19 months in prison for that charge.
    A fence has since been erected around the area where Armstead made his escape.

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