For Immediate Release
March 25, 2021
A Jackson County judge on Thursday sentenced a former Jackson County sheriff's deputy to 180 days in jail as shock time for shooting a woman in the back during a August 2019 incident following the deputy's attempt to arrest her, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
The judge also sentenced Lauren N. Michael, dob: 3/24/1990, to six years in prison, but suspended execution of that sentence and placed her on probation for four years.
Michael will report next week to the county jail in Andrews County, MO, and be responsible for all costs.
Michael pleaded guilty in January to Assault 1st Degree B, a Class B felony. As part of a plea agreement, the state of Missouri agreed to not seek that Michael be sentenced to no more than 6 years in prison. At a minimum, the agreement stated the judge could impose 120-shock time in jail.
On Thursday, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office advocated for the judge to sentence Michael to six years in prison for the shooting of a 25-year-old woman who was seen riding a scooter down Main Street. "She aimed and fired repeatedly," Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dion Sankar stated. "And then you lied to cover up your act."
Sankar told the judge the prison sentence would show the community that no one would be above being held accountable for their actions. "We are here today," he said, "to ask for equal justice."
According to court records filed today, on Aug. 8, 2019, the defendant was a sheriff's deputy working traffic in the Westport area with other sheriff's deputies. Deputies observed two individuals on a Bird scooter, travelling southbound on Main Street in the northbound lanes of traffic. One deputy gave a verbal order for the driver to stop. But the two persons on the scooter continued on. Deputies activated emergency lights and caught up to the pair on the scooter near 37th and Main Street. A deputy took the driver into custody and attempted to detain the second person on the scooter, a 25-year-old woman. She ran southbound and a deputy pursued her on foot. A deputy informed units of her description. But the deputy also told his sergeant over the radio that the only charge he had on her was failure to obey a lawful order by running from him. Deputy Michael continued to canvas the area in search of the young woman. She located her sitting on concrete steps close to the street in the 4000 block of Oak Street. According to her dash camera video, the woman stood up and walked toward the deputy. They then moved out of view of the dash camera until Michael is seen attempting to detain her. The deputy grabbed her hair and pulled her to the ground, and a drink the woman is holding spills on the deputy. The video then only shows the woman's legs and a small portion of Michael's left side. Shortly, the video shows the woman's legs twitch and she suddenly gets up and runs away. Seconds later, smoke is seen blowing into the video's view, presumably the result of the Michael's discharge of her weapon. Michael advised dispatch that shots were fired and she had been tased.
According to court records, Michael stated that the woman resisted her attempts to put her in handcuffs. Nothing she had done was stopping the woman, she stated, and she feared the woman would take her firearm and use it against her so she drew her weapon and fired three to four shots. The woman stated that Michael took her to the ground, then tased her. She reacted to being tased, she said, by pushing the Taser away and getting up and running. While she was running, she was shot in the back. Crime scene personnel from the Kansas City Police Department located five spent .40 caliber casings and Michael's Taser. Analysis of the Taser revealed both of its cartridges were deployed within 3 seconds, which did not support Michael's statement that after she tased the woman, the woman fought her for the Taser, then the woman used it on the deputy. Crime scene personnel also identified damage from a bullet to a vehicle some distance away from where the woman struggled with Michael. The damaged vehicle was in the direction that the woman ran from Michael.
After sentencing Michael on Thursday, the Jackson County judge heard from the mother of Donald Sneed, who was shot and killed by Michael in May 2017. She expressed anger about little for her actions. The prosecutor's office negotiated for Sneed's mother to be able to speak to the court about the impact of her son's fatal shooting.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.