Defense attorney Kent Florom withdrew Monday from the case of Tanner Matthies, 20, who is charged with attempted murder after he drove another man through the window of a restaurant with his pickup. Florom said he had a conflict with another case. Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands appointed attorney Patrick Hays to defend Matties. Hays asked for and received more time to become more familiar with the case.
Matthies is in jail on a $1 million bond, also charged with assault, use of a deadly weapon and criminal mischief. He allegedly drove a Dodge pickup into the North Platte Perkins Restaurant on March 10, attempting to kill or injure a Blake Strecker, 25, a pipefitter at Bailey Yard.
Police said at the time that the two men had argued over the phone, but Strecker said later that there was no evidence of such a call on his phone.
Strecker said he only had a split second to react as he walked out through the parking lot at 5 a.m. He grabbed hold as the pickup slammed into him.
He said he had never laid eyes on Matthies.
The pickup with Strecker on the front shot through the front window of the restaurant. When it stopped, Strecker fell on the floor at the foot of the cash register. People said he was covered in glass and a couch from the waiting area was on top of him.
Strecker suffered a severe concussion and a back injury. His pelvis fractured near his hip socket and he lost hearing in one ear and he lost his memory for several days, he told the Bulletin later.
Matthies has yet to make a statement on the charges. At his first court appearance shortly after he was arrested, he refused a court-appointed public defender. He remains in jail on a $1 million bond.