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Co. Attorney reports on felony convictions
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Amy Mellor

Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor issued a report Friday concerning some of the pleas entered last Thursday in Barton County District Court before Magistrate Judge Richard E. Burgess Jr. 

• In separate cases, Jerry Lee Cossman pled to charges of criminal threat and violation of a protective order. After the threat was uttered about a Barton County deputy sheriff, a Great Bend police officer was advised on the situation and tracked Cossman to a local business, where he was placed under arrest. The second case was filed after “Cossman contacted a person who had complained about his prior threats against that individual and family members.” A district court judge issued a protective order and Cossman was served with the order. “However, he persisted in contacting the victim, and Great Bend Police Department officers began an investigation. The investigation ended with Cossman’s arrest and the entry of a plea to the charge,” Mellor reports. 

Criminal threat is a felony, and violation of an order is a misdemeanor. Sentencing is set for December.

• Jason Bitter was convicted of aggravated endangerment of a child. The case began when Bitter was seen driving a vehicle on U.S. 56 into oncoming traffic at a high rate of speed.

“Unfortunately, as the time Bitter’s daughter was in the vehicle with him,” the report states. “This situation resulted from an argument between Bitter and the child’s mother. Barton County deputies tracked Bitter to a location in Pawnee Rock, where he was arrested. The child was not harmed.”

Sentencing for this felony conviction will be in December.

• Again in separate cases, Michael Charles Foster was convicted of possession of methamphetamine and criminal threat. In the first case, a GBPD officer began a traffic stop at 12:35 a.m. on Aug. 25 and ended up seizing drugs from Foster after using a drug dog in his investigation.

While he was being locked up on that arrest, he made a comment to one of the jailers about “what would happen if he found the (arresting) officer and beat him.”

“When advised not to speak like that, Foster responded by saying that it — the criminal threat — would be his next charge.” Said Mellor, “He was right.”

Both crimes are felonies.

The GBPD and BCSO investigated the cases, which were prosecuted by Mellor or Assistant County Attorneys Rita Sunderland and Colin Reynolds.

Mellor added that sentencing for these cases will be pursuant to Kansas sentencing laws and will be determined by the judge.