Tanner Matthies, 20, of North Platte, was convicted of first-degree assault Monday for ramming a man through the front window of the Perkins restaurant on March 10. Matthies accepted a deal from the Lincoln County Attorney’s office and pled no contest to first degree assault, so charges of attempted murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and criminal mischief were dropped.
Lincoln County District judge Donald Rowlands ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Sept. 9. Meanwhile, Matthies remains in jail on a $1 million bond.
Matthies drove a Dodge pickup into the North Platte Perkins Restaurant on March 10 trying to kill or injure Blake Strecker, 25, a pipefitter at Bailey Yards. Police said at the time that the two men had argued, but Strecker later told the Bulletin that he’d never met Matthies.
Strecker had a split second to react as Matthies shot toward him at 5 a.m. in the Perkins parking lot. Strecker grabbed hold the front of the truck and was carried through the front window of the restaurant. When the truck stopped, Strecker fell to the floor near the cash register, atop a shower of glass and with a couch from the waiting area on top of him.
Strecker suffered a fractured skull, a concussion, a fractured pelvis and he lost hearing in one ear.
Investigators once suspected that the two men were involved with the same woman, but in an exclusive interview for the Bulletin's print edition, Strecker said a girl he’d met that night evidently knew Matthies, but she was not Matthies' ex-girlfriend, and Matthies attacked him for no good reason.