By Sandy Schroth

Oakland man sentenced to five years of probation for $11,000 in bad checks written to O'Neill business


September 15, 2022

Michael Ford, 34, of Oakland faced the Honorable Mark Kozisec in the Holt County district courtroom in O’Neill, on Aug. 29, to be sentenced on three counts of issuing bad checks, one felony and two misdemeanors. Kozisec placed Ford on probation for five years. He was taxed $275.89 costs of prosecution and $1,830 in probation fees, in addition to restitution totaling $11,300, at a rate of $200 per month; to be dispersed as follows: $795 to Super Foods, at a rate of $15 per month; $530 to Quality Alignment, at a rate of $10 per month; and $9,975 to Bomgaars, at a rate of $175 per month; all commencing Sept. 1 and continuing until each is paid in full.

Ford pleaded guilty to the three counts May 24, pursuant to a plea deal with Holt County attorney Brent Kelly, who reduced the felony count from Class 2A to Class 4.

Between Sept. 24 and Oct. 5, 2021, Ford wrote six checks totaling $845.21 to Super Foods in O’Neill; two checks, totaling $550.60, to Quality Alignment, O’Neill; and 14 checks totaling $11,947.48 to Bomgaars in O’Neill, knowing he did not have sufficient funds to cover them. He was represented by Holt County public defender Rodney Smith.

Andrew J. Harris, 36, of O’Neill was also scheduled for sentencing, on violation of his post-release supervision. At an Aug. 23 status hearing, without Harris’ presence, Holt County public defender Rod Smith, on his behalf, informed the court that Harris was incarcerated in Douglas County on felony violations. Kelly moved to dismiss the motion to revoke PRS. Kozisec dismissed the motion to revoke. Harris had admitted the violations during a March 14 court appearance.

Five cases filed against Michael J. Long, 32, of O’Neill, including multiple drug possession and other charges, were dismissed by Kozisec on Aug. 29. Possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine) charges in four of the cases were included in new information filed by Kelly on Aug. 26. Long, appeared before Kozisec Aug. 29, accompanied by his attorney, Ron Temple of Norfolk, and pleaded guilty to the four charges. Sentencing is deferred pending participation in the North Central Problem Solving Court. Long entered a contract with the drug court, agreeing to multiple conditions, payment of a $30 enrollment fee and $100 each month he participates in the program. Upon successful completion of the program, charges will be dismissed.

An arraignment hearing for Jessica Snyder, 40, of Ewing was continued, due to a scheduling conflict for her attorney, Justin Kalemkiarian of Lincoln. Kelly did not oppose to the continuance. Snyder submitted a written not guilty plea to charges of terroristic threats, a Class 3A felony; criminal attempt of first-degree arson, a Class 2A felony; criminal mischief, a Class 4 felony; and child abuse, a Class 3A felony, all alleged May 13 near Ewing. Snyder’s next court date has not yet been set.

On Aug. 23, Kozisec entered judgement and sentence, extending probation for an additional six months for Robert M. Gotschall, 37, of Atkinson, after he admitted violations to terms of probation. The judgement includes additional terms including to remain at the Link Halfway House, follow all house rules and regulations and not leave until discharged; if he has a positive drug test the probation office shall immediately notify the county attorney; and Gotschall is not allowed to reside at Clover Clove ranch. Gotschall, on May 23, admitted to violating his probation, having tested positive for alcohol on three occasions and had failed to report for testing on one occasion. He was placed on an 18-month term of probation Oct. 26, 2020, on conviction of third-degree assault. Probation was extended by six months Sept. 27, 2021, for previous violations.


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