By Sandy Schroth

Bound over on six felony charges alleged in Ewing chase


A 39-year-old Minnesota man was bound over to Holt County district court last week on six felony charges incurred in an April 6 chase that began in Ewing.

Luke E. Rothering of Harmony waived his right to preliminary hearing and was bound over by the Honorable Kale Burdick when he appeared for first hearing in the Holt County courtroom in O’Neill last Monday, May 7. Burdick waived jurisdiction of seven misdemeanor counts to the district court.

District court arraignment was set May 13, with bond continued in the amount of $300,000, 10% cash. Rothering is represented by Holt County public defender Rod Smith.

Rothering’s felony charges include:

•Count I, third-degree assault on an officer, Class 3A felony;

•Count II, assault on an officer using a motor vehicle, a Class 3A felony;

•Count III, driving under the influence, third offense, 3A felony;

•Count IV, operate motor vehicle to avoid arrest, Class 4 felony;

•Count V, criminal mischief, Class 4 felony; and

•Count VI, criminal mischief, Class 4 felony.

He is also charged with eight misdemeanors: Count VII, criminal mischief; Count VIII, refusal to submit to chemical test (Datamaster); Count IX, operate motor vehicle not equipped with interlock device; Count X, obstructing peace officer; Count XI, resisting arrest; Count XII, no proof of financial responsibility; Count XIII, willful reckless driving; and Count XIV, refusal to submit to chemical test (preliminary breath test).

According to an arrest affidavit filed in the case by Holt County deputy Steven Binkerd, the investigator was dispatched to an area about three miles west of Ewing on Highway 275. A vehicle, allegedly driven by Rothering, had entered the ditch twice before the reporting party lost sight of it.

Binkerd said he later spotted a similar vehicle parked in front of DS’s Pub in Ewing but, since it wasn’t an exact match, he documented the location and left.

He was later called back to the business on the report of a physical altercation between Rothering and the business owner outside the business. The defendant left, allegedly driving west with no lights. A pursuit followed, with Binkerd reporting Rothering crossed the white line and center line multiple times with vehicles oncoming.

Holt County deputy Mark Liewer was able to successfully deploy a spike strip at the junctions of highways 275 and 20, according to Binkerd’s report. After a brief stop, the vehicle headed west on Highway 20, then proceeded up a private gravel driveway, through a yard and a closed gate into a pasture with cattle and horses, continued through a second gate and struck Liewer’s patrol vehicle. After forcing the property owner to dodge out of the way to avoid a collision, Rothering allegedly took out two cattle panels and struck O’Neill officer Collin Hyatt’s patrol vehicle head on.

Rothering was arrested at gunpoint, with Hyatt deploying his taser. He was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in O’Neill for medical clearance, where he allegedly refused tests, including chemical tests for alcohol.

The Antelope County Sheriff’s Department was also called for assistance.


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