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Cases proceed in Antelope County district courtroom

 


Although several cases were continued until a later date, the Honorable Mark Johnson presided from the bench in the Antelope County district court Wednesday, March 25.

Alexander J. Fitzgerald, 28, of Newman Grove appeared for sentencing on a Class 1 misdemeanor count of third-degree assault, committed Aug. 22, 2019, in Tilden. Johnson sentenced him to a $500 fine and $149 costs of prosecution. He was represented by Antelope County public defender Patrick Carney of Norfolk.

Dalynna S. Robertson, 49, of Oakdale was also scheduled for sentencing, on a Class 4 felony count, possessing a controlled substance. She was granted a continuance due to illness. Sentencing is now scheduled April 29. Bond in the amount $10,000, 10% cash, is continued as well. She is represented by Carney.

Johnson issued a warrant for the arrest of a defendant who failed to appear. Kristen R. Bliss, 24, of Plainview was set to face the judge on charges of violating probation. Carney asked for a continuance. The oral motion was opposed by Antelope County prosecutor Joe Abler. Johnson overruled the defense motion and ordered the warrant, setting bond at $50,000, 10%. Bliss was sentenced to 18 months substance abuse supervised probation in December 2019. Allegations of violation were filed by her probation officer Jan. 27 and amended Feb. 3. The January document noted Bliss had absconded as of Jan. 24. She was arrested Jan. 30 in Stanton County on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and felony tampering with evidence (aiding and abetting), pleaded not guilty and was bound over to Stanton County district court. Held at the Antelope County Law Enforcement Center, Bliss posted 10% of a $5,000 bond in the Stanton County case March 2.

Jeremy J. Mathrole, 40, of Crofton appeared for arraignment on two Class 3A felony counts of violating the Nebraska Sexual Offender Registration Act. A jury trial is set for July 21, with pretrial hearing May 27. Bond filed March 9, in the amount of $10,000, 10%, is continued. Mathrole is represented by Carney.

Mathrole was arrested Feb. 11, after Neligh police chief Michael Wright determined he had been staying at a Neligh motel, beginning Feb. 2, and had failed to register the address with the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. A probable-cause affidavit lists previous SOR violation convictions in 2018 and 2008, in Clay County, South Dakota. According to the Nebraska State Sex Offender Registry, Mathrole has a lifetime registry requirement. He was convicted in 2001, in Iowa, of a misdemeanor, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, aggravated. The victim was a minor.

Brennon J. Coleman, 36, of Neligh faced Johnson for arraignment on two Class 3A felony counts, Count I, third-degree domestic assault, subsequent offense, and Count II, first-degree false imprisonment; and Count III, a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Coleman pleaded guilty to Count I in exchange for Abler dismissing counts II and III, agreeing to file no additional charges arising from the Jan. 25 incident and to make no recommendation at sentencing.

An enhancement hearing was held, with Johnson finding a previous offense of assault in the third degree, domestic, had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He ordered a presentence investigative report. Bond, in the amount of $20,000, 10%, with a condition for no contact, direct or indirect, with the victim, is continued, with an exception allowing Coleman to contact the victim via telephone on one occasion only. Sentencing is set May 27. Coleman was remanded to the custody of the Antelope County sheriff, pending posting of bond. He is represented by Carney.

Dennis J. Wilson, 28, of Tilden was granted continuance of a pretrial hearing on a Class 4 felony charge of possessing a controlled substance, methamphetamine, alleged Nov. 15 in Oakdale. His pretrial hearing is now set April 29, with a jury trial on the July 29 docket. It was noted in a pretrial status report, filed by Abler on March 17, that a plea agreement had been offered. In return for the defendant’s plea of guilty to Count I, as filed, the state agrees to not file additional offenses from the Nov. 15 incident and will recommend probation at sentencing, if substantiated by any presentence investigative report filed. In addition, in the event the matter is not resolved prior to trial, the prosecution anticipates amending information with an additional felony and misdemeanor charges. Abler suggested the jury trial would take one day. Bond posted Nov. 19, in the amount of $2,500, 10%, is continued. Wilson is represented by Carney.

Timothy N. Grothe, 57, of Elgin was granted continuance of revocation of probation hearings in two 2018 cases, until April 29. Alleged violations include a positive alcohol test in December 2019, admission to consuming alcohol Jan. 19 and failure to appear for testing Jan. 24. He had previous administrative sanctions for positive alcohol and/or drug tests in September, October and November 2019. Grothe is represented by Mark Porto of Grand Island.

Douglas D. Carpenter, 43, of Neligh, scheduled for a pretrial hearing on information to revoke probation, saw his case continued once again. Carpenter’s attorney Ryan Stover of Norfolk, requested the continuance, citing Carpenter’s upcoming April 15 county court sentencing in a case that provides the underlying factual basis for revocation. The motion to continue indicates the defendant will admit the violation and request immediate sentencing. Violation was alleged Sept. 1, when Carpenter was arrested in Neligh. He pleaded guilty to criminal attempt – stalking in the county court March 23. He is represented by Stover of Norfolk.

Roger D. Stuckwisch, 78, of Tilden was also granted continuance. He is now set for jury trial July 21, with pretrial hearing set May 27, on 12 counts of sexual assault of a child, five first degree and seven third degree. The alleged crimes were committed between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2016, involving seven victims under the age of 14, according to an amended complaint filed by Antelope County prosecutor Joe Abler on Feb. 5. Convictions would result in up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 15-years, hard (no parole during first 15 years) on the first-degree sexual assault of a child charges and up to three years, $10,000 fine and 18 months post-release supervision for each of the third-degree charges. Stuckwisch entered not guilty pleas to all 12 counts in February.

Johnson signed a protective order March 25, regarding discovery of video-recorded interviews with child victims and witnesses in the case, which prohibits release of the evidence without court order. Stuckwisch remains in the custody of the Antelope County sheriff, pending posting of bond that is set at $5 million, 10%. Bond conditions include no direct or indirect contact with victims or their families. He is represented by Carney.

 

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