Man sentenced for battering officer

John Richmeier
Anthony Dunkle

A man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for battering a Leavenworth police officer.

Anthony A. Dunkle, 37, was sentenced Friday to 32 months in prison for battery of a law enforcement officer, making a criminal threat and interference with law enforcement.

The charges stemmed from an April 16, 2019, incident in which Dunkle reportedly approached a police officer in downtown Leavenworth. The officer was seated in a patrol car, and the window of the driver’s door was down.

Dunkle reportedly started to punch the officer.

Dunkle pleaded guilty to the three felony charges in February. Two misdemeanor charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Friday’s sentencing hearing was conducted using an online videoconferencing service.

Speaking during the hearing, Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said the victim of the battery had been involved in an arrest of Dunkle about 30 days earlier. At that time, the defendant reportedly said the officer would be sorry if Dunkle saw him again.

“This is something Mr. Dunkle planned out,” Boyd said of the battery.

Boyd said the officer’s injuries were pretty minor.

The prosecutor said Dunkle had previous convictions for crimes involving violence.

Dunkle’s attorney, Benjamin Casad, noted Friday that his client had been evaluated for competency.

Casad said Dunkle was found to be competent. But the defense attorney said it appears Dunkle has mental health issues. Casad said he believes this contributed to the April 2019 incident.

When given the opportunity to speak during Friday’s hearing, Dunkle indicated he did not wish to say anything.

District Judge Gerald Kuckelman sentenced Dunkle to 32 months for the charge of battery of a law enforcement officer. Kuckelman sentenced Dunkle to six months for each of the two remaining charges. These were considered the standard sentences under the state sentencing guidelines.

Kuckelman followed a recommendation of the plea agreement and ordered the three sentences to run concurrent with each other. This means Dunkle will serve all three sentences at the same time.

Dunkle has been in the custody of the Leavenworth County Jail since April 16, 2019, and he will receive credit toward his prison sentence for the time he has spent in jail.

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