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By Sandy Schroth

Manslaughter charge dismissed


September 12, 2019

A felony count of manslaughter of an unborn child was dismissed, without prejudice, Monday against Joey W. Crooker, 37, currently incarcerated at the Antelope County Jail.

Crooker still faces a Class 2A felony count of first-degree sexual assault, alleged June 29 at a Grove Lake campground, with a preliminary hearing on the Antelope County Court docket at 11 a.m. Sept. 26.

Crooker appeared with public defender, Charles Balsinger of Norfolk, on a motion to amend bond after the Class 2 felony was dropped.

Prosecutor Joe Abler objected to substantial reduction of bond, citing the seriousness of the remaining count and Crooker’s history and his status as a registered sex offender.

Crooker told the judge he would reside with his parents, who would transport him to court appearances if he posts bond.

Taylor reduced bond from $100,000 to $75,000, 10% cash, ordering Crooker to be at the address listed when he posts bond after 8 p.m. each day, and continued terms of no contact, direct or indirect, with the alleged victim.

He was remanded to the custody of the Antelope County sheriff, pending posting of bond.

Formal charges were filed by Abler on Aug. 12, following an investigation by Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore and Steven Binkard, a Holt County deputy.


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