Topeka Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Carjacking, Robbery
TOPEKA, KS—A Topeka man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of carjacking and robbery, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.
Wesley Lavern Harris, Jr., 26, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking and one count of commercial robbery. In his plea, he admitted that on June 7, 2015, he took a man’s keys, money and car and left the victim in a bathtub at the Econo Lodge Motel at 2950 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Harris and others had placed an ad on a Web site advertising sexual services in order to lure a victim to a hotel room and rob him. Harris left the motel driving the victim’s 2002 Hyundai Sonata.
In his plea, Harris admitted that on June 8, 2015, he entered the back door of the Heartland Perma Column store at 1841 E. 1450 Road in Lawrence, Kan. He threatened to kill an employee and forced her and another employee to give him money from a box in the front office.
Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 86 months in federal prison. Sentencing will be set at a later date determined by the court.
Co-defendant Crystal Marie Jaimez, 23, Topeka, Kan., is set for jury trial Oct. 26. Co-defendant Christal Renee Aponte, 30, Topeka, Kan. has scheduled a change of plea hearing for Sept. 23.
Grissom commended the Topeka Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, the Lawrence Police Department, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag for their work on the case.