Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that earlier today a jury convicted Lawrence resident Michael A. Hormell, 20, of one count of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling, a level seven/person/felony.
Today’s conviction requires that Hormell register as a violent offender for 15 years and the Court scheduled his sentencing hearing for September 24 at 11:00 a.m. The Kansas Sentencing Guidelines reflect that Hormell faces a possible sentence of 11 to 34 months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections. Information provided on a possible sentence is solely for informational purposes. Hormell’s actual sentence will be determined by the Court, with consideration of any prior criminal history, and other possible statutory factors. After announcing the jury’s verdict, the Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) report be completed. The PSI will be completed by Court Services prior to Hormell’s sentencing hearing and it will advise the Court of any prior criminal history to be considered for sentencing purposes.
Investigation into the case began shortly before midnight on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 when officers with the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) responded to a report of shots fired into a residence in the 400 block of North Street.
Five adults and two children were inside the residence when multiple shots were fired into the home. Glass shattered and flew through the residence, but fortunately none of the occupants were injured. LPD investigators found two spent shotgun shells outside the residence and projectiles inside the residence consistent with the contents of a shotgun shell. A thorough investigation led to Hormell being identified as the shooting suspect.
The jury trial was conducted in the Division Three Courtroom and began on Wednesday, August 21. Jury selection was completed and opening statements were delivered the same day. The trial continued throughout the remainder of the week and closing statements were delivered this morning. The case was given to the jury for consideration at approximately 10:15 a.m. and the jury deliberated for about one hour prior to returning its guilty verdict.
The Honorable Barbara K. Huff presided over the trial. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Deborah Moody and Christopher Coleman.
In addition to the above referenced case, Hormell faces charges in an unrelated incident from January 2018. State v. Hormell/2018CR109 is currently set for a trial to commence on September 30, 2019. The complaint filed in the case include the charges of attempted second degree murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, and criminal discharge of a firearm. Hormell is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in 2018CR109 and the complaint filed in the case is merely an allegation of criminal conduct.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor