A man previously set to go before a jury in a case involving a February shots fired incident in midtown Atchison has pleaded guilty rather than face trial.
Thomas C. Strathman is now convicted of one count of aggravated assault, a felony, as well as one count of endangering a child and one count of criminal damage to property, both misdemeanors.
He pleaded to the offenses in a hearing on Monday, April 29, in Atchison County District Court. Sentencing for Strathman will be during the 1 p.m. court docket Monday, June 17. He faces 11 to 34 months in state prison for the assault. Each misdemeanor is punishable by time in the Atchison County Jail.
Atchison County Attorney Sherri Becker told the court that evidence presented during Strathman’s recent evidentiary hearing supported the evidence that led to his conviction. However, the female victim held an infant in a baby carrier at the time when Strathman pointed a handgun near her head and then discharged the weapon toward the ground near her feet. In exchange for his plea, one count aggravated assault and one count criminal threat, both felonies, were dismissed.
Atchison police arrested Strathman after 3 a.m. on Feb. 6 in the 1000 block of North 10th Street and determined a verbal disturbance that involved Strathman and a 56-year-old female victim inside the residence, according to police reports.
The disturbance moved outside the residence and escalated to the firing of shots. All parties escaped injury, though one of the responding police officers suffered a dog bite after he unexpectedly encountered the victim’s startled pet during the crime scene investigation.
Since his arrest, Strathman has been confined in jail pending fulfillment of a $25,000 bond agreement. After his plea on Monday, Strathman’s court-appointed defense counsel, J. David Farris, requested a bond modification on the defendant’s behalf. Judge Robert Bednar indicated he would review the bond and advise Farris of his decision.