News and Press Releases

kC man sentenced for assaulting officers in
courthouse disturbance, illegal firearm

June 1, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for assaulting several law enforcement officers and for illegally possessing a firearm during a disturbance at the Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse.

Wendell C. Woods, 29, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil of the District of Kansas to eight years and six months in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 17, 2010, Woods pleaded guilty to six counts of assaulting federal law enforcement officers. Woods, who was in possession of a Hi-Point 9mm rifle, also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a short-barreled rifle.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Woods parked a Buick LeSabre in front of the federal courthouse, in a conspicuously marked no-parking zone, and entered the courthouse on the afternoon of March 4, 2010. Woods made comments about a conspiracy to commit murder, the affidavit says, and was asked to leave by the security officers. Officers attempted to escort Woods from the building when he became combative. Woods was charged with assaulting three federal employees – a Deputy U.S. Marshal and two Court Security Officers – in relation to that incident.

Officers wrestled Woods to the ground and placed him in handcuffs. Woods was in possession of a large kitchen knife and a magazine loaded with seven rounds of 9mm ammunition. Kansas City police officers arrived and arrested Woods for criminal trespass.

As officers were writing Woods a citation and preparing to tow his vehicle, the affidavit says, the barrel of the firearm was seen protruding from underneath the front seat of the car.

During an interview at the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department headquarters, the affidavit says, Woods admitted he had been using PCP earlier that day. Woods attempted to leave the room and assaulted two detectives (who had been deputized as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals) who restrained him. Two more officers, including a Deputy U.S. Marshal, responded to the disturbance and were also assaulted by Woods. Eventually, four other detectives from the Kansas City Police Department responded and all eight officers were able to restrain Woods. Four law enforcement officers went to area hospitals for medical treatment and examinations. Woods was charged with assaulting three federal employees in relation to that incident.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Barnes. It was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Protective Service.

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