District judge reduces sentence for local man
A judge has reconsidered the jail sentence for a Basehor man convicted of striking and killing an intoxicated pedestrian near Teepee Junction north of Lawrence.
Joseph J. Bell spent last weekend and is scheduled to spend this weekend in the Douglas County Jail under the order signed recently by Judge Michael Malone. Bell also spent the weekend of June 4 in jail.
At Bell's sentencing May 19, prosecutors recommended that Bell get probation and serve three weekends in jail.
Instead, Malone ordered him into custody immediately and said he'd consider letting Bell out in about a week.
On May 27, Malone reconsidered the case, released Bell and ordered him to serve the three consecutive weekends. Malone also ordered that if Bell shows up late or under the influence of alcohol, he's not to be released.
Bell entered a plea earlier this year to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an injury accident.
He was driving a Chevrolet Suburban that struck and killed Devin Scott Emery on March 14, 2004, outside a fraternity and sorority party.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson has said there were indications Bell had been drinking that night, but there were no conclusive blood and alcohol tests.
Lawrence police said at the time of the wreck that the driver of the Suburban left the scene and returned later.