photo by: Elvyn Jones
Updated at 3:52 p.m. Friday
A 21-year-old Lawrence man is facing a charge of attempted murder after driving a vehicle with a passenger into Lone Star Lake Thursday evening.
Jeremy S. Williams, who made his first appearance in Douglas County District Court from the county jail Friday afternoon, was formally charged with second-degree attempted murder, a level-three felony. Judge James George said that depending on Williams’ criminal history a conviction could result in up to 247 months in prison, which is about 20.5 years.
District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, who was in court for the prosecution, told the judge that the court’s pretrial services attempted to determine whether Williams was suitable for release from custody, but he would not cooperate. She said the prosecution believed Williams posed a threat to community safety because of mental health concerns. She also said the passenger in the car was Williams’ mother.
Citing Williams’ refusal to cooperate, George said he did not know Williams’ financial situation and set a $250,000 cash or surety bond. Additionally, Williams declined George’s offer for an appointed lawyer by repeatedly shaking his head to the judge’s questions. Williams’ next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Williams around 7 p.m. Thursday at East 665 Road, which is a county road along the lake’s eastern bank.
Jenn Hethcoat, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said the office responded to a call around 6:50 p.m. for a vehicle appearing to have driven into the lake. The caller reported that a woman was a passenger in the vehicle and appeared unable to remove herself because of a broken leg.
When police arrived, they learned that the caller had helped the 54-year-old woman from the vehicle. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and cold exposure, Hethcoat said.
After an investigation, police determined Williams was driving the vehicle. Hethcoat said Friday morning the incident was still under investigation.
The Journal-World has requested Williams’ booking photo, but has not yet received it from the sheriff’s office.
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