Crime & Courts

Third suspect in Wichita shooting, chase had several run-ins with officers this year

The third suspect in Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting and chase — the one accused of driving a stolen Jeep at a Wichita officer who opened fire — has had several run-ins with law enforcement this year.

Harvey County court records show 26-year-old James Lenford Stanford, of Newton, with three drug charges in 2019 and one in 2016. All of them involved methamphetamine and all were dismissed without prejudice.

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder wouldn’t say why the cases were dismissed but did say reasons for dismissal could include lack of evidence or cooperation against other defendants.

“Due to his ongoing behavior we are refiling all of those charges,” Yoder said, adding they would be filed by the end of next week.

Yoder said those charges could be refiled because they weren’t dismissed with prejudice and because they are within the five-year statute of limitation for drug charges.

Additionally, Yoder said, Stanford had run-ins with law enforcement in June and August in cases not yet filed. Both of those cases involve meth; one also alleges Stanford as a convicted felon with a firearm.

Stanford was convicted of a drug charge in Sedgwick County in 2015. He violated his probation multiple times on drug charges before being sentenced to a six-month stint in prison.

Police say Stanford drove the stolen 1999 Jeep Wrangler that police surrounded at the McDonald’s near 21st and Amidon, then tried to run over an officer. The officer fired three shots.

Stanford was hit in the leg. Another suspect, 30-year-old Zachary Ausdemore, was hit in the arm. Ausdemore is accused of stealing another car after the Jeep was wrecked and leading police on a chase into the county before being arrested, police said.

Police released Stanford’s name in connection with the case Thursday night after he was released from the hospital and taken to jail. He was booked on suspicion of aggravated assault on an officer, aggravated battery, fleeing and eluding and theft.

Stanford hid in the area where the Jeep crashed and was found several hours later, police said. A third suspect, 30-year-old Daphne Dawn Hays, was arrested after the Jeep wrecked.

Hays and Ausdemore are both wanted in Madison County, Nebraska. Hays is wanted for aiding consummation of a felony case. Ausdemore had warrants for violating probation on a charge for issuing bad checks and for another case involving two burglary charges.

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