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County Court report: Crazy drivers sentencedTell North Platte what you think
 
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
William E. Reed
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Russell Smith

A North Platte man was sentenced Thursday to a long county jail term for meth possession.

William Reed, 26, was sentenced to 220 days in jail for attempted possession of methamphetamine and for violating probation.

Reed pled guilty in an agreement that reduced the charge to attempted possession and dismissed three other cases.

He took off from a stop sign in his car on April 21 and burned rubber. A cop saw him and pulled him over, according to court records. Reed consented to a search of his vehicle, which turned up a syringe and several crystals that lab reports later confirmed to be meth.

Deputy County Attorney Angela Franz asked that Reed pay court costs on all five charges, but she did not object to sentences running concurrently on the two convictions.

Lincoln County Court Judge Kent Turnbull agreed. He gave Reed credit for the 52 days he has served since his arrest on May 8.

This is Reed’s third jail stint of the year, on top of two arrests last year. Past offenses include drug possession and driving under the influence, as well as several charges of failure to appear, according to Lincoln County sheriff’s records.

 

Smith

Russell Smith, 34, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 18 months’ probation for his conviction of theft by taking over $500 but less than $1,500 and driving under the influence of alcohol, second offense.

Smith hopped into an unlocked Jeep on June 20 and drove about a block, then the brakes locked up and he pulled to the side of the street.

An officer arrived and found the Jeep still running and Smith at the wheel, intoxicated.

Smith pled guilty to both charges. In an agreement worked out between his Defense Attorney, Amanda Speichert and Deputy County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft, the theft charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and a driving under suspension charge was dismissed.

Smith got into the Jeep Cherokee at First and Grant St. Officers said Smith was “red-eyed” and smelled of alcohol. A breath test confirmed he was under the influence.

Hoeft asked that Smith be placed on probation for both convictions.

Piccolo said state law requires a 30-day upfront jail sentence for second offense DUI.

Smith said he would like to find inpatient treatment while on probation.

Piccolo encouraged him to work with probation to find help.

“If you do, I will give you dollar-for-dollar credit against your fines for any money you spend. We would rather see your money spent getting help than giving it to the court.”

He gave Smith credit for nine days served. In addition, Smith was fined $1,000 and his license was revoked for 18 months.

 

In other court proceedings, justice was handed down in two domestic assault cases.

Ly

Cody Ly appeared for a contested hearing on charges of strangulation and terroristic threats.

Ly, 27, is accused of attacking his girlfriend on April, 15.

According to police reports, officers responded to a report of a domestic assault at 1163 S. Tabor. The victim reported that during an argument, Ly, wrapped a blanket around her face, cutting off her air supply.

She said she passed out and when she awoke, Ly punched her in the back of the head and face, placed his hands around her neck and said he would leave but “was going to kill her first.”

She ran to a neighbor’s home and called police. At the hearing, Hoeft called North Platte Police Officer Stephanie Wood to the stand, who interviewed the victim at the neighbor’s apartment and took pictures of her injuries, although she did not bring them to court.

Defense Attorney Robert Lindemeier questioned the photographs.

“Did you bring them to court today?” he asked. She said no.

Lindemeier asked if she had ever talked to his client about the incident. She said she only talked to the victim, but Officer Matt Phillips talked to Ly.

In closing arguments, Hoeft said, “for preliminary hearing purposes we have shown evidence that a crime was committed.”

Lindemeier argued that it was a “bare bones” hearing, and asked the court to “consider what evidence is shown to support that, and dismiss the charges.”

Piccolo ruled that there was probable cause that a crime was committed and bound the case over to district court.

 

Baumann

Also, John Baumann was sentenced to 60 days in jail for third-degree assault Thursday in Lincoln County Court.

Baumann, 66, entered a guilty plea in an agreement that reduced the charge from assault on a confined person, a felony, to a misdemeanor.

He was charged June 17 when he got into an altercation with another inmate while serving the last day of a previous conviction.

According to court records, jail video recorded the dispute. He and another inmate became upset, exchanged words before Baumann shoved him three times.

Lincoln County Court Judge Michael Piccolo asked Baumann if he had anything to say before he handed down the sentence.

“I was not used to prison life, I was under a lot of stress all the time,” Baumann said. “I tried to stay away from people but they wouldn’t let me alone. That day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I just snapped.”

When asked if he wanted to accept the plea agreement, he said he just wanted “to get the lowest sentence I can. I have another charge in Omaha and a jury trial in Minnesota. I might not get out of jail this year.”

Piccolo credited him with 63 days served and said he could use the extra three days to cover court costs, and wished him the best.

“Best of luck to you in your other cases,” he said.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/29/2017
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