Rampage case defendant fires attorney, takes back guilty plea at sentencing

Jeff Lehr, The Joplin Globe, Mo.
·1 min read

Mar. 10—A 20-year-old Joplin man charged with going on a rampage in 2019 when he could not find his keys fired his attorney and took back his guilty plea at his sentencing hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Connor S. Allen had entered a plea of guilty Nov. 16 to single counts of first-degree assault and first-degree burglary and two counts of third-degree assault and was facing up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing hearing.

The hearing was cut short when the court was informed that he wished to withdraw his guilty plea and get a new attorney. Circuit Judge Gayle Crane granted the request and set a new hearing in Allen's case for April 19.

The alleged rampage took place on Nov. 20, 2019, at an apartment building on East 20th Street.

Allen was at a friend's apartment when he purportedly became upset because he could not find his keys and hit one of his friends several times in the face, grabbed an occupant of the apartment by her neck and slammed her head against a door, broke the railing on the second floor walkway outside the apartment and punched another man who heard the disturbance, stepped outside his place and told Allen to settle down.

The defendant then allegedly chased that victim into his apartment and assaulted his wife, who was on the phone trying to call for help. He vandalized the couple's home before leaving and scuffled with two police officers who arrived on the scene before finally being subdued and arrested, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.