Newell pleads to lesser charges

Army veteran Sergeant Ryan Newell, 26, of Marion entered a guilty plea June 23 on two misdemeanor counts of impersonating a police officer in the Sedgwick County District Court.

The guilty plea stems from Newell?s arrest Nov. 30 for allegedly stalking members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Sedgwick County.

According to Georgia Cole, communications director for the Sedgwick County Attorney?s office, Newell was sentenced to six months in jail for each impersonation count to run consecutively, but that sentence was suspended. He was also sentenced to 24 months probation.

?If he (Newell) is without any violations in the next 24 months, he will successfully complete the conditions of his plea agreement,? she said.

Cole said there is a list of conditions attached to Newell?s plea agreement ranging from no alcohol and drug consumption to continuing any treatment programs he may be associated with.

The plea agreement was initiated by Newell and his attorney, she said, with 18th Judicial District Judge Ben Burgess presiding.

In the original complaint, Newell was facing felony and misdemeanor charges to include conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, stalking, criminal use of weapons, impersonating a law enforcement officer and felony conspiracy to commit aggravated battery.

One of Newell?s family members, who asked to remain anonymous, said she is glad it?s behind them.

?We are ready to move forward with our lives,? she said on Saturday.

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