Trial set for man accused of injuring 2 motorcyclists

By Tim Weideman

An Ogden man accused of multiple charges connected to an April accident that left two motorcycle riders seriously injured was bound over and scheduled for an arraignment Friday in Riley County District Court.

Judge William Malcolm scheduled an arraignment hearing for Johnny Cossey, 38, on Aug. 4.

Cossey appeared Friday during a preliminary hearing.

He faces two counts of aggravated battery while driving under the influence of drugs, one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm and possession of methamphetamine.

The accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on April 8, when Cossey was driving north on Walnut Street across Riley Avenue in a 2004 Lincoln LS. The car collided with two motorcycles that were traveling west on Riley Avenue.

The motorcyclists —James Garrett III, 48, and Steven Cannon Jr., 29, both of Ogden — were seriously injured. A helicopter transported Garrett to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita. Riley County EMS transported Cannon to Mercy Regional Health Center.

Riley County police officers and detectives located Cossey hiding at his mother’s home in Ogden at about 7 p.m.

On Friday, Sgt. Dustin Weiszbrod, a detective with the RCPD at the time of the accident, said Cossey came forward in an interview later that night.

“He indicated he was the driver of the vehicle that struck the two motorcycles,” Weiszbrod said.

After Cossey was taken into custody, a corrections officer found a small bag with a trace of methamphetamine inside. Officer Curt Steele — a detective at the time — in a report stated Cossey made body movements consistent with drug use during interviews on April 8.

“I believed him to be coming down off a high,” Steele said in court.

A Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab report confirmed Cossey had methamphetamine, amphetamine and marijuana in his system. Blood work for that test was completed shortly after 12 a.m. April 9.

Cossey’s attorney, Mellissa Rundus, argued Cossey’s movements that Steele noted could have been from fatigue or nerves. She countered that the reports don’t prove Cossey was under the influence at the time of the accident.

But Malcolm determined the state had produced probable cause to believe that may have been the case.

“The evidence is clear that you had marijuana in your system, as well as methamphetamine and amphetamine,” Malcom said to Cossey, adding that he’s aware how long those substances can remain in a person’s body.

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