By Sandy Schroth

Holt County judge hands out probation sentences


November 10, 2022

The Honorable Kale Burdick handed fines, license revocations and probation sentences to several defendants who were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when he presided from the bench of the Holt County court in O’Neill on Nov. 1.

Lane F. Ebsen, 20, of O’Neill appeared in front of Burdick for sentencing on two counts, Count I, driving under the influence of drugs, first offense, a Class W misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana, less than one ounce, an infraction. Burdick placed Ebsen on probation for 12 months, including payment of $490 in fees; fined him $500 and revoked his driver’s license for 60 days on Count I and fined him $300 on Count II. The probation order also includes 24 days in jail to be served two days per month beginning Nov. 25, which may be waived upon recommendation of probation officer; two AA/NA meetings per week, obtain AA/NA sponsor; obtain a co-occurring evaluation and follow all recommendations and; unless attending residential treatment, maintain full-time employment, attend employment classes or conduct community service work for at least 36 hours per week. He was also ordered to enroll in Nebraska Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act youth employment and training program, if eligible.

Ebsen was self-represented.

Burdick fined Gerardo Pena, 55, of Mission, Texas, $500, ordered a six-month term of probation and revoked his driver’s license for 60 days on a DUI of alcohol conviction. He was taxed $105 costs of prosecution. Pena pleaded guilty to the charge Oct. 4, per a plea deal. In return Holt County attorney Brent Kelly dismissed two counts, speeding (50 mph in 35 mph zone) and a stop-sign violation.

Pena was cited Sept. 14 by a Nebraska State Patrol trooper who reported observing him “roll through” a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 20 and Pioneer Road in O’Neill.

Pena was represented by Michael Sholes of O’Neill.

Alexander J. Hader, 23, of Norfolk was sentenced to a six-month term of probation, a $500 fine and 60-day revocation of his driver’s license for a conviction of DUI, first offense. The probation order includes payment of $210 in fees. He was taxed $215 costs of prosecution.

Hader pleaded guilty Aug. 16 and Kelly dismissed a count of driving without headlights. He was arrested July 17 in O’Neill, by a Holt County officer who observed him driving a pickup without lights. He was self-represented.

Andrew M. Frowiss, 33, of Omaha faced Burdick for sentencing on two crimes committed in October 2021, Count I, obstructing a police officer, and Count II, attempted escape. Both are Class 1 misdemeanors. Burdick sentenced Frowiss to an 18-month term of probation, including payment of $570 in fees. In addition to standard probation terms, Frowiss was ordered to attend three AA meetings per week, obtain AA sponsor, continue residing at the Oxford Sober Living House in Omaha, attend all counseling sessions and take all medication as prescribed. He was assessed $62 costs.

Frowiss appeared in court on the charges in December 2021, when public defender Rod Smith was appointed to represent him. He failed to appear at subsequent hearings and a warrant was issued April 5. The warrant was served Aug. 22 and he was released on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond Aug. 30.

Terry A. Kopejtka, 20, of O’Neill faced Burdick for sentencing on four counts committed May 31, Count II, possession of marijuana, less than one ounce, an infraction, and three Class 3 misdemeanors, Count III, shooting wildlife from roadway; Count IV, shooting highway signs; and criminal mischief. Burdick fined Kopejtka $300 on Count II, $500 on Count III, $100 on Count IV and $100 on Count VI. In addition, he was placed on probation for 12 months. He must pay probation fees totaling $390, costs of $60 and restitution of $48 to Holt County.

In addition to standard probation conditions, Burdick’s order also requires Kopejtka to attend adult education classes to obtain a GED, obtain full-time employment, attend employment classes or perform community service for 36 hours per week and, if eligible, enroll in the Nebraska Department of Labor’s WIOA employ,ent and training program within 30 days, obtain an evaluation for chemical dependency and follow all recommendations.

Kopejtka pleaded no contest to the four crimes Sept. 6, per terms of a plea agreement. In return, Kelly dismissed Count I, possession of marijuana, and Count V, possession of a controlled substance, (concentrated THC).

Kopetjtka was cited by a Holt County deputy May 31 on north Highway 281 in O’Neill. The officer noted two 9mm. pistols, two long rifles and two spotlights in the vehicle. He also reported the defendant was shooting stop signs from the roadway and shooting from the road at night, “not knowing the backdrop or surroundings.”

Sholes l was appointed to defend Kopejtka on July 18, after Smith filed a motion to withdraw, citing a conflict of interest.


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