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By Sandy Schroth

Plea deals reduce charges in two felony assault of officer cases



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Rebecca L. Preister, 32, of Oakdale faced the Honorable Donna Taylor Wednesday, June 3, for a preliminary hearing on a Class 3A felony count of third-degree assault on an officer.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with county attorney Joseph Abler, she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of resisting arrest, a Class 3 misdemeanor. Taylor ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing Aug. 5. Bond filed May 18, in the amount of $50,000, 10% cash, is continued.

According to an affidavit, officers were dispatched May 15 to a reported domestic disturbance in Oakdale. After the parties were separated, Preister asked to be arrested because she needed help, but when questioned, failed to clarify what kind of help. She was informed there was no reason for arrest and officers advised her to go inside and go to bed. She then threatened to damage a vehicle or assault an officer to give them reason for her arrest. According to the report, Preister struck a police vehicle mirror and pushed an officer. While being detained, she allegedly kicked and scratched two officers.

Preister is represented by Antelope County public defender Patrick Carney of Norfolk.

Billy Russell, 29, of Elgin faced Taylor for a preliminary hearing on three counts, including Count I, third-degree assault on a peace officer; Count II, driving under the influence, third offense, a Class W misdemeanor; and Count III, obstructing a police officer, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Pursuant to a plea bargain, Russell pleaded guilty to counts 2 and 3, in exchange for Abler dismissing Count I, with prejudice. Taylor ordered a presentence investigation. Sentencing and an enhancement hearing are set Aug. 5. Bond is continued at $20,000, 10%.

According to court records, Russell was stopped by an Antelope County deputy near the junction of 844 Road and Highway 14 on May 1, after receiving a report of erratic driving. Officers reported he became agitated and refused to cooperate with personnel attempting to administer a blood test, resisted transportation to the county jail, tripped a deputy and acted in an aggressive manner, causing injury to officers. The report also indicated the defendant was on parole.

Russell is represented by Carney.

Robert J. Haskin, 38, of Oakdale appeared in front of Taylor on two felony counts, alleged May 5 in Oakdale, Count I, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a Class 3 felony; and Count II, possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine, a Class 4 felony. Haskin waived his right to preliminary hearing and was bound over to Antelope County district court, where his arraignment is set June 24. Further arraignment on a Class 3 misdemeanor count alleged April 29 in a separate case, operating a motor vehicle during a period of suspension, is continued to June 17, in county court.

Bond, in the amount of $50,000, 10%, with a condition for no contact, direct nor indirect, with an alleged victim in the felony case, is continued.

According to a document filed by an Antelope County officer, law enforcement responded to an assault reported in Oakdale and while searching for Haskin, allegedly located a pipe and a bong, believed to be used to smoke marijuana, a clear pipe believed to be used for smoking meth and a set of brass knuckles in his bedroom.

Haskin is represented by Carney.

Two Grand Island men, involved in an incident in Neligh on May 3, both faced Taylor.

Smokie J. Pike, 24, waived his right to counsel and pleaded not guilty to a Class 2 misdemeanor, assault by mutual consent. He requested a jury trial. A pretrial hearing is set July 1.

Hugo Estrada, 28, who faces a similar charge, also waived his right to an attorney. He is set for further arraignment July 1.

John J. Shald, 73, of Stuart pleaded guilty to a count of no proof of financial responsibility, a Class 2 misdemeanor committed Feb. 28. Taylor fined him $75 and $50 costs. A second count, no valid registration, was dismissed by Abler, with prejudice.

Owen S. Jansen, 19, of Omaha pleaded guilty by waiver to a count of fishing without a permit, a Class 2 misdemeanor, committed at Grove Lake on April 16. He was fined $100 and $49 costs. Jansen also provided proof of the April 18 purchase, as part of the penalty, of an annual Nebraska fishing permit.

William L Knievel, 67, of Neligh, pleaded guilty by waiver to a Neligh city ordinance violation, dog running at large, committed May 13. He was fined $25 and $49 costs.

Catarina M. Meyer, 30, of Orchard pleaded guilty by waiver to an Orchard village ordinance violation, dog running at large, committed April 30. She was fined $25 and $49 costs.


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