Michael Malmkar, 20, of North Platte, was convicted Tuesday of motor vehicle homicide and leaving the scene of an injury accident. Trouble began for Malmkar June 17, 2011 when he hit and killed a bicyclist while driving drunk on State Farm Road on the south side of North Platte.
The bicyclist was Levern Allan Walter, 56. His wife Roberta was treated for minor injuries. Malmkar kept on driving after the accident, but returned later that night and admitted he drove the vehicle in the collision.
He was sent to a drug and alcohol treatment center, but after treatment he got in trouble while living at a halfway house in Lincoln, where he burglarized a bar. He was jailed Feb. 13 in Lincoln County and has remained behind bars since, according to sheriff’s records.
Malmkar withdrew his previous not guilty plea to charges of motor vehicle homicide and failure to stop and render aid.
In a plea agreement with the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office, Malmkar pleaded no contest to motor vehicle homicide and a lesser charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident.
District judge Donald Rowlands found him guilty.
Defense attorney Robert Lindemeier asked for a pre-sentence investigation, which was granted. Malmkar will return Feb. 25 for sentencing.
In other district court action Tuesday, Amanda Hastings, 30, of North Platte, pleaded not guilty to felony child abuse and her attorney Patrick Hays asked for a jury trial to be not in the next jury session but the one after that.
Hastings was the owner and operator of the Little Monkey’s Child Care.
Rowlands set a March 19 trial date, saying that because more time was requested by the defense it would not count against the state’s obligation to provide a speedy trial.
Hastings landed in jail on June 25 after she allegedly struck and kicked her son, causing the boy injury and pain.
Police responded to the reported abuse at the Little Monkey’s Child Care, 3302 S. Willow. Hastings was arrested and jailed but was released the next day without bond, according to jail records.
Rowlands set a jury trial for March 19.
Donald Warfield, 69, of North Platte, appeared in Lincoln County District Court Tuesday, charged with sexual assault of a child.
Defense attorney Patrick Hays asked for a continuance to allow more preparations and Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch set the next hearing for Jan. 15.
This case has been ongoing since June, when Warfield was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touched the victim, now 15-years-old, beginning when she was seven and continuing for 3-4 years. Warfield was also arrested in April for failing to register as a sex offender.
There is no statute of limitations on child sexual assault in Nebraska.
Jeremy Kreiling, 25, of Hershey, pled not guilty to sexual assault of a child. Defense attorney Patrick Heng asked for a continuance and filed a motion for discovery to allow time to obtain and study more information on the case.
Kreiling will be back Jan. 12 for a status hearing. He was arrested Nov. 8 after a teenage girl, now 15, told investigators that Kreiling assaulted her two years earlier while she was babysitting, according to a sheriff’s statement.
Shane Melton, 24, of North Platte, pleaded not guilty to charges of leaving the scene of an injury accident, no proof on insurance and assault on a confined person.
Defense attorney Pat Hays asked for a bond reduction from $12,500 to $5,000, but Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Jennifer Wellan objected because of prior felonies and a concern for public safety. Rowlands lowered the bond to $10,000 but said that is as low as he could go in view of the serious charges and the defendant’s history.
Records show Melton was charged in the past with receiving stolen property, assault, cruelty towards a child and strangulation. His record also shows a charge of driving under the influence of drugs in Logan County.