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By Sandy Schroth

Result of Holt County high speed chase is jail


December 10, 2020

Dennis J. Nekolite, 30, of O’Neill appeared before the Honorable Kale Burdick in the Holt County courtroom Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Nekolite faced Burdick for sentencing on two Class 1 misdemeanors, Count I, operate motor vehicle to avoid arrest and Count II, criminal mischief, $1,500 to $4,999.

Burdick sentenced him to 60 days in the Holt County Jail on Count I and 14 days on Count II, with credit for one day previously served. The jail terms are to be served concurrent and commence Jan. 2, 2021. In addition, Burdick ordered his driver’s license impounded for 30 days and assessed $60 costs of prosecution.

Nekolite pleaded guilty to the counts in an amended complaint filed by Holt County attorney Brent Kelly, pursuant to a plea agreement. Count I was reduced from a felony flight to avoid charge and a count of willful reckless driving, a Class 3 misdemeanor, was dismissed.

According to a probable-cause for arrest affidavit filed by O’Neill police officer Rachel Kohlman, Nekolite led officers on a chase through alleys and streets in O’Neill on July 12, reaching speeds of more than 90 miles per hour, failing to stop at stop signs. Gravel was thrown into Kohlman’s windshield, cracking it, as he accelerated on a gravel road heading out of town. The pursuit continued on county roads, toward Atkinson, before Nekolite failed to negotiate a sharp curve, drove through a barbed wire fence into a pasture, where he continued to flee until officers were able to sandwich the vehicle and bring it to a stop.

One of two passengers was transported to his O’Neill residence by a Holt County deputy, while the second, Gerardo Jimenez-Jimenez, 24, was transported to the county jail on an outstanding warrant.

Nekolite was represented by Ronald Temple of Norfolk.

Jeremiah V. Strong, 31, of O’Neill faced Burdick for sentencing on a Class 2 misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of a property-damage accident. A self-represented defendant, Strong pleaded guilty when he was arraigned Oct. 6.

Burdick fined him $300 and taxed $60 costs of prosecution.

Jared N. Wheeler, 24, of O’Neill also appeared for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to a Class 1 misdemeanor, commit child abuse, negligently-no injury, pursuant to a plea deal with Kelly on Sept. 15. In return Kelly agreed not to amend the charge to a felony and recommend probation. The offense was committed Aug. 5

Burdick sentenced Wheeler to a six-month term of probation, including fees of $180, and assessed $60 costs of prosecution.

Wheeler was self-represented.

Jose F. Barraza Carcamo, 31, of O’Neill faced Burdick for a pretrial hearing on a Class 3 misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

Pursuant to a plea bargain with Kelly, Barraza Carcamo changed his plea to guilty. In return, Kelly agreed to recommend a fine and not to object to a motion that would be filed by the defendant immediately after payment of fine and costs.

Burdick fined Barraza Carcamo $100 and assessed $50 costs of prosecution.

A petition to set aside the conviction was filed the same day.

Barraza Carcamo was represented by Forrest Peetz of O’Neill. Izabel Chavez served as interpreter.

Wyatt Wagner, 19, of Clearwater, pleaded guilty, by waiver, to Nebraska Game and Parks violations committed Nov. 10, hunting wildlife with an artificial light and hunting from roadway. Wagner was fined $250 and $500, respectively, and assessed $49 costs.

Robert A. Cullen, 47, of Atkinson pleaded guilty, by waiver, to a Nebraska Game and Parks violation, of deer regulations, a Class 2 misdemeanor. He was fined $100 and taxed $49 costs. Cullen was cited Nov. 14, about four miles east of Page, for hunting within 200 yards of a baited area.

Judy J. Zechman, 45, of Creighton also pleaded guilty, by waiver, to a similar charge in the same incident. She was also fined $100 and $49 costs.


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