There were 40 felony criminal cases on the docket Monday, a busy day at the Lincoln County District Court. Here are the highlights of the morning session.
Dakota Niles, represented by attorney Martin Troshynski, was convicted of one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
Niles pled no contest to the amended charge. He faces up to 50 years in prison and must register with the state as a sex offender. Troshynski asked for a bond reduction, including a stipulation of no contact with the victim, pending sentencing.
Lincoln County District Court Judge Richard A. Birch denied the request and Niles remains in jail.
Niles was once wanted for failure to appear in court on five counts of sexual assault of a child. He was intially charged in September 2012 after a 14-year-old girl said he sexually assaulted her.
According to a sheriff’s statement, the girl said the first assault was in spring 2011 and the last one in August 2012. The girl told officials that Niles was aware of her age.
Niles pled not guilty in Lincoln County District Court on Aug. 12, 2013 and was released on bond. When he did not show for his next court date, a warrant was issued.
Niles eventually faced three counts of failure to appear, along with the five sex assault charges.
William Theus accepted a plea agreement and admitted he had violated probation.
Theus also pled guilty to possession of methamphetamines with intent to deliver. Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch set sentencing for June 9.
Theus was arrested around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, when police found his Explorer parked in the middle of the First National Bank parking lot. Witnesses said the vehicle ran over a curb and had difficulty parking.
Theus, who was driving, was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. A search turned up a glass pipe that contained white residue consistent with methamphetamine, as well as .22 caliber rifle, police said at the time.
Darrell Lewis, 22, was convicted of use of deadly weapon and second degree trespassing in the assault of a 24-year-old North Platte woman on Dec. 11.
The woman told police that Lewis used a large dowel to hit her multiple times about the arms and head after an argument. Dowels are solid, cylindrical shaped rods. Among other uses, they can be used as supports to hang clothes and picture frames.
The woman also said Lewis threw a standard, 8” kitchen knife at her after he used it to stab her personal belongings, according to the police report.
Lewis told Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch that “this has been a learning experience for me.”
Lewis said he wanted to get back home.
Birch noted that it is Lewis’ first offense and he’d been straight up and taken responsibility.
“I don’t think the pen is the answer,” Birch said, adding that probation might not be effective since Lewis lives out of the area and wants to go home.
Birch sentenced Lewis to 364 days in jail for use of a deadly weapon and 30 days for trespassing, to be served concurrently, or at the same time. Lewis received credit for 117 days he has already served in jail.
Tim Leeper, 24, was convicted of one count of burglary after he pled no contest. Other charges were dismissed at the state‘s cost without prejudice.
A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for June 9.
Leeper was originally charged last summer with possession of a controlled substance, theft, possession of a firearm during a drug violation and possession of a stolen firearm.
Although most of those charges were dismissed, Leeper remains in jail on a bevy of similar charges from the burglary of a vacant house on Feb. 27.
Not guilty pleas
Kim Spotts appeared with defense attorney Stephen Potter and pled not guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, burglary, and theft by taking in the burglary of a vacant house on Feb. 27.
The county attorney asked that her bond be revoked as there are more charges pending. Birch said he would consider bond revocation when the other charges are filed.
Spotts was ordered to reappear in court on June 22.
Jonathan Hernandez pled not guilty to four counts of sexual assault of minor, which allegedly took place twice on Feb. 14, once on Feb. 15 and once more on Feb. 16.
Defense attorney Blaine Gillett requested a bond reduction. The county attorney objected. Birch declined to reduce bond, leaving it at $250,000.
If convicted, Hernandez faces up to 50 years in prison.
Prosecutors say acts of violence were involved and one of two victims was treated at the emergency room at the hospital.
Hernandez’s attorney has said Hernandez has mental issues.
According to police records, around 6 p.m. Saturday, police were contacted by the parents of a 15-year-old girl, and investigators found probable cause to charge Hernandez with first degree sexual assault.
Eugene Grenier, 32, pled not guilty to third-degree assault, third-degree domestic assault (a felony due to prior domestic assault charges from Sept. 15), criminal mischief, and two counts of child abuse from events that took place Jan. 22.
Greiner also pled not guilty to bad check charge on Aug. 2.
A 34-year-old woman said Grenier, her former domestic partner, came into her home and shoved both her and her 56-year-old mother to the ground. She said Grenier also hit the younger woman several times on her head with his shoe.
The woman told police that Grenier destroyed several items in the home, including a television, wooden hutch, Blu-Ray player and personal decorative items, with a total estimated value around $1,100.
Grenier is scheduled back in court on June 23.
Rosa Quintero pled not guilty to possession of a controlled substance, false reporting and felony child abuse.
Quintero was accused in November of covering for Mark Ramos, who was wanted for assault but hid in Quintero’s clothes dryer when police arrived.
A search of the house turned up glass pipes and small self-seal, plastic baggies containing powder residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.
Birch told Quintero to return to court on May 5.
Jeffrey Manary, 44, pled not guilty to charges of assault and strangulation. Manary also is charged with being a habitual criminal.
Birch told Manary that if he is convicted of assault and strangulation, he faces at least 10 years imprisonment, up to a maximum of 60 years.
Manary is scheduled to return to court on May 5.
According to the police report, a 48-year-old man said Manary and he argued on Jan. 30 downtown at a group meeting. Manary grabbed him by the throat and choked him.
Manary was on parole from prison at the time for meth distribution for his role in the death of a North Platte woman, Esther Smith, who overdosed in 2011. Manary allegedly supplied the drug. He was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison. He served the minimum -- two years -- before his parole in July.
He remains in the Lincoln County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Reports of the afternoon session will be posted Tuesday. - Editor.