Casey Mitchell, 17, was in Lincoln County Court Thursday to face 10 counts of criminal mischief, stemming from a BB gun shooting spree in North Platte in early August.Mitchell was allegedly involved in the series shootings that destroyed more than 200 windows – mostly car windows but also some business windows.
Defense attorney Pat Hays asked to withdraw from the case due to conflicts, since his firm is representing some of the victims.
Hays suggested that a public defender from outside North Platte be appointed, because the extrordinarily large number of victims would make it difficult to find an attorney in North Platte who does not have a conflict.
Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull granted Hays' request to withdraw and appointed P. Stephen Potter as Mitchell’s public defender.
Mitchell has been in jail since the shootings.
Addressing the possibility of bond, Turnbull said that a bond would be problematic because Mitchell’s parents are separated and are not cooperating on where Mitchell would live if he got out of jail.
“If I had you in juvenile court, I could put back into foster care,” Turnbull said. “But, I don’t have you in juvenile court so I can’t do that.”
Turnbull said the bond possibility will be reconsidered after Potter has a chance to consult with both Mitchell and the county attorney’s office.
Mitchell was allegedly with Justin Belsky on Aug. 6 when they and two other teens, a boy and a girl, allegedly drove around town for three hours shooting a BB gun at windows. Belsky was charged with 199 misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and three felonies.
The two other teens were less than 15-years-old, cited for curfew violations and not suspected of being directly involved in the shootings, according to prosecutors.