Crime

Mentally ill man found not guilty in 2015 attack on children at Lenexa playground

A man charged with injuring three children in an attack at a Lenexa playground in 2015 was found not guilty because of mental illness. Javon Lockett was ordered committed to Larned State Hospital for evalucation.
A man charged with injuring three children in an attack at a Lenexa playground in 2015 was found not guilty because of mental illness. Javon Lockett was ordered committed to Larned State Hospital for evalucation.

A 22-year-old man who attacked and injured several children at a Lenexa playground was found not guilty Friday because of mental illness.

Javon Lockett was charged with injuring three children and endangering more than a dozen others during the March 2015 incident.

He has been in custody since the attack, which occurred at a playground near his home in the 9200 block of Boehm Drive.

Lenexa police said the children suffered cuts, bruises and scratches to their faces, arms and hands. One child reportedly suffered a concussion when he was knocked face-first onto the pavement.

After the attack, Lenexa police received calls that a man in the area was pointing a gun at people and throwing rocks at cars.

Officers arrested Lockett after a short foot chase and recovered an airsoft pistol.

Lockett’s lawyer, Carl Cornwell, said Friday that Lenexa police showed “tremendous discretion” in handling the situation without it escalating into something much worse.

On Jan.19, Johnson County District Judge Sara Welch heard evidence against Lockett presented by prosecutors, as well as the opinions of two mental health experts.

Both experts agreed that Lockett was experiencing a schizophrenic episode at the time of the incident.

Based on the evidence, the judge on Friday found that because of his mental disease or defect, Lockett was incapable of forming the criminal intent required to convict him of the crimes.

Welch ordered him committed to the Larned State Hospital for evaluation. The hospital’s chief medical officer was ordered to report back to the judge within 90 days.

“It is a really, really sad case,” Cornwell said. “Fortunately, he has a family that loves him and will do whatever is necessary to help him.”

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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