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Court: Two women sentenced to pen for methTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Toni L. Engelbart
Courtesy Photo­Image
Kayla M. Wills

A North Platte woman, Toni Engelbart, 54, was sent to prison for 2-3 years Monday for distribution of methamphetamine, even though she has no prior record.

Englebart was sentenced by Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch to the York Corrections Center for Women. She received credit for 11 days served.

Defense Attorney Leonard Vyhnalek asked for intensive supervised probation but Birch declined.

“This is a distribution charge and very serious,” Birch said. “If it was just a possession charge I would be more inclined toward probation. But, I cannot on a distribution charge.”

Vyhnalek also asked the court to return guns that were taken from Engelbart’s home during the arrest. Some long guns and handguns were found in a gun safe, and a 9mm CalTech pistol was found next to the bed.

Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling objected to returning the guns.

“The guns were all in the same room as the meth, the master bedroom, and the CalTech was next to the bed loaded and ready to fire,” Harling said.

But Vyhnalek said the guns belonged to Engelbart’s husband and he wanted them back. Birch instructed the county attorney to return the guns to him.

Engelbart was arrested on Oct. 15, 2012.


A Cozad woman is headed for York on a conviction of distributing meth.

Kayla Wills, 25, was sentenced to 1½-3 years by Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands. She received credit for 101 days that she has already served in the county jail.

Wills was arrested on the night of Aug. 8 by sheriff’s deputies, along with Lucas Swarthout of North Platte.

Deputies were called to the outlet campground at Lake Maloney about a knife threat. With help from the Nebraska State Patrol, a vehicle fitting the caller’s description was stopped and searched shortly after 9 p.m.

A Lake Maloney resident told officers that the suspects were acting suspiciously near his home, so he followed them as they drove away, to get their license number. Swarthout saw that he and Wills were being followed, stopped the car, brandished a large knife and confronted the man following them.

While searching Swarthout’s car, deputies found items used in the consumption and distribution of meth. Deputies searched Wills’ belongings and found 10 grams of a substance that field-tested positive for meth.

Both Wills and Swarthout were arrested for possession with intent to distribute. Swarthout was also charged with use of a weapon to commit a felony.

The knife was not immediately found, but the next day someone found it in a bag next to a tree near the scene and turned it into the sheriff’s office.

Swarthout is scheduled for arraignment in district court on Dec. 2.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/18/2013
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