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Attempted murder charge to be heard in district courtTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Dustin Sauer

The charge of attempted premeditated murder against Dustin Sauer of North Platte was bound over to district court Thursday, after Sauer waived his right to a preliminary hearing in county court.

Sauer was arrested around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 when police answered a 911 call from a woman who said her husband, Dustin L. Sauer, shot a man in the neck.

Investigators said Sauer, 34, went looking for his wife that night and found her in a parking lot near downtown at First and Bailey. She was with Blaine Cornelius, 36, and another woman.

Police said Sauer and Cornelius fought, and at some point, Sauer allegedly shot him in the neck with a large caliber gun. However, the wound was not life threatening and Cornelius was released later that day from the hospital.

Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling accused Sauer of acting “with deliberate and premeditated malice,” at his arraignment the day after the shooting, after initial evidence was reviewed.

Consequently, the charge was increased from second-degree to first-degree attempted murder. His initial jail bond was increased from a half million to $1 million.

If convicted, Sauer faces 1-50 years imprisonment for first-degree attempted murder, plus 5-50 years imprisonment for use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Sauer appeared in court Thursday with Defense Attorney Bob Lindemeier, who told Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo that his client was prepared to waive the right to a hearing in exchange for a bond reduction. Lindemeier asked for a 50% reduction in the bond, a standard amount when the right to a preliminary hearing is waived.

Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft did not object to reducing bond, and Piccolo did so and he bound the case over to district court.

No details of the shooting have been released. Previously, police spokesman John Deal declined to specify the location of the neck wound or the caliber of gun that was used.



Also in court Thursday, a young North Platte woman was sentenced to a year and a half of probation on drug charges.

Karissa Arensdorf, 22, was convicted of attempted possession of methamphetamine and child abuse. She pled guilty in a deal that reduced the possession charge to a misdemeanor. Another drug possession charge was dismissed.

Arensdorf was arrested Feb. 22 when officers went to her home looking for Juan Nila, 30, who was wanted for failure to appear four times. Nila was nabbed when he tried to escape through a rear window.

Inside the home, police found baggies with white residue that appeared to be meth, police spokesman John Deal said, earning Arensdorf one charge of possession.

Previously, on Jan. 26, Arensdorf was warned that she would be arrested if she harbored Nila. At that time, drug paraphernalia was found in Arensdorf’s home and a hair sample of her one-year-old child was taken, which later tested positive for meth, earning her a second drug charge.

In court Thursday, Defense Attorney Amanda Speichert said probation is appropriate since Arensdorf has completed a drug and alcohol evaluation, is receiving counseling and waiting for an opening for inpatient treatment at St. Monica’s Behavioral Treatment Center for Woman in Lincoln.

Piccolo asked Arensdorf who had custody of her daughter. She said the girl’s father in Alliance and added that she has visitation rights.

“Obviously with these charges, you needed an evaluation and got it,” Piccolo said. “I will go along with the agreement.”

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/2/2017
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