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District Court: Lujan, Gabel, Churchwell, LezaTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Andrew Lujan
Courtesy Photo­Image
Ryan Gabel
Courtesy Photo­Image
Stanley Churchwell
Courtesy Photo­Image
Edward Leza

Andrew Lujan, 31, of North Platte, was convicted Monday of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

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Lujan pled no contest to the charge in Lincoln County District Court. Two other counts of the same charge were dropped in a plea arrangement with the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office.

Lujan was intially arrested April 13 on three counts of possession with intent to distribute.

He will undergo a pre-sentence investigation and his sentencing is set for Jan. 8.

Lujan was also one of a group of nine people arrested in a CODE (cooperative drug enforcement) Task Force roundup in May 2011. Authorities said they seized cocaine, methamphetamine, hydrocone, steroids, marijuana, prescription drugs plus one vehicle and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Lujan was jailed for a little more than a month on that charge, according to sheriff's records.


Gabel

Ryan Gabel’s defense attorney Stephen Potter entered a motion for plea abatement Monday, asking that Gabel's prior plea be nullified and he be arraigned again on a burglary charge.

Potter said his client was simply helping a friend load his belongings into the man’s car, and there has been no evidence that Gabel knew the items were stolen, or the apartment they came from had been broken into.

A new arraignment hearing was set for Dec. 4.

Gabel and David Terry of North Platte were both arrested June 9 for allegedly burglarizing a woman’s apartment in the 2300 block of East E.

Two women said that Terry and a man they didn't know came to their home and threatened them, and Terry also confronted a third woman who was with them. Police believe that Terry assaulted the third woman earlier at another place and the women who reported the disturbance came to the third woman’s aid.

And, while police were enroute to pick up Terry, dispatch informed them of a call from the third woman that Terry and Gabel broke into her apartment. Police said they found her car tires had been slashed and her stolen goods were found in a car that had been driven by Terry.

According to the police, both Terry and Gabel fled south on foot on Griffith Ave.

Terry was found a few blocks west on Philip Ave. and arrested. At around 9 p.m. police found Gabel at his home and charged him with burglary.

Gabel has a long record of alcohol related offenses. He was in court just days earlier to plead guilty to falsely telling police that it was not his car that rolled down the Jeffers St. overpass with no driver.

Gabel has been jailed at least nine times since February 2010. After the alleged burglary, he bonded out of jail during the summer but was arrested again Oct. 3, charged with domestic assault and disturbing the peace. His bond was revoked and he is currently in jail.


Churchwell

Two alleged felonies brought Stanley Churchwell, 26, of North Platte to district court Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to burglary and theft by taking more than $500.

Defense attorney Michael Nozicka asked for a status hearing in early December. Churchwell is in jail on a $22,500 bond.

The charges were leveled in late September, when neighbors in the 700 block of N. Bryan called police to report people carting off pickup loads of items from a home and yard. Police found Churchwell driving the pickup. Churchwell told them he was cleaning up the property for the owner, but the owner, Karl Kirkland, told police he hadn’t given anyone permission to be on the property.

Police Lt. Steve Reeves said Churchwell had recruited several people to help him, who thought he was legitimately cleaning up the property. Reeves said several pickup loads of stolen goods were recovered.

After more investigation, police believe there are at least three victims of the theft. Police Information Officer Rodney Brown said the stolen items add up to about $615.


Leza

Charges of sexual assault of a child were continued Monday against Edward Leza, 58, of North Platte. Defense attorney Stephen Potter filed a motion for discovery to obtain statements from the alleged victim and her mother.

A status hearing was set Jan. 7. Leza is in jail on a $50,000 bond.

Leza was arrested in August and charged with third-degree sexual assault of a child after a teenage girl said he touched her inappropriately in the past while staying at her home.

At the time of the accusation, Leza was in jail in Omaha but was transferred to the Lincoln County Detention Center.

It was Leza’s fourth arrest in Lincoln County in a year for such charges as aggravated assault, use of a weapon to commit a felony and probation violations. County records also show he has also been arrested in the past and charged with DUI, criminal mischief, violating a restraining order, disturbing the peace and arson.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/27/2012
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