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Court report: Bonds reduced, charges loweredTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Johnny M. Castro
Courtesy Photo­Image
Shawn P. Howard
Courtesy Photo­Image
Richard P. Smith
Courtesy Photo­Image
Travis J. Johnson
Courtesy Photo­Image
Barry Ray Allen

Johnny Castro was convicted of assault and child neglect Thursday, after he accepted a plea agreement to reduced charges.

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Castro, 32, was arrested on March 26. Police said Castro abused his 40-year-old female domestic partner and her three children -- two boys ages 10 and 12 and a 15-year-old girl. When two of the woman's relatives tried to confront Castro, he allegedly fought them and brandished a large kitchen knife and threatened to kill them.

Castro has been in jail since. He pled no contest to amended charges, including third-degree domestic assault, simple assault and child neglect.

Harling also agreed to dismiss a charge of failure to register as a sex offender because another jurisdiction was involved. 

Castro pled guilty to the amended charges, but when the facts were read, he wanted to dispute them. So, Judge Piccolo advised him to change his plea to no contest. 

Then, accepting the state's recommendations, Piccolo sentenced Castro to 54 days in jail, plus court costs. He received credit for 56 days served. The two extra days were credited to court costs.

 

Howard

Shawn Howard, accused of felony domestic assault, will be able to get out of jail on bond as he awaits court on the charge.

Howard’s case was bound over Thursday to district court after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.  

Defense attorney Amanda Speichert requested his bond be cut in half.

County Attorney Harling objected, noting the Howard allegedly kicked his eight-month pregnant wife.

"She suffered a ruptured placenta as a result," Harling said. "I am looking at his criminal history which is lengthy to say the least," she said.

Since Howard has a criminal history in both Florida and Nebraska, Harling said she would be concerned if bond was reduced at all.

Judge Piccolo asked Howard where he lived and if he had a job. Howard said he lived in North Platte and was employed.

Piccolo asked if he would still have a job if he was released.  Howard said yes.

"Mr. Howard, I will treat you like I do everyone else since you waived your preliminary hearing," Piccolo said, and reduced his bond from $25,000 to $12,500, and said it will include a no-contact provision. 

"I want you to get back to work and begin to support yourself," Piccolo said.

 

Smith

Bond was reduced Thursday for Richard Smith, who was charged May 14 with felony DUI (fourth offense or greater) along with refusing to submit to tests and driving under suspension.

Smith is also charged with possession of a stolen pickup, which he was driving when he was arrested.

His bond was initially set at $100,000.

Defense attorney Blaine Gillett requested a 50 percent bond reduction, but Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling objected because of his criminal history. Smith has been arrested six times in six years.

Harling said she would only consent to a lower bond if a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor (SCRAM) device is required.

Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo noted that Smith must wear a SCRAM, because it is already a condition of his bond.

Harling withdrew her objection and his bond was reduced from $100,000 to $50,000.

 

Johnson

Travis Johnson waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the case was bound over to district court.

Johnson faces felony charges of aggravated assault and resisting police, plus misdemeanor neglect of child. 

He was arrested May 16.

Defense attorney Blaine Gillett said his client could not pay bond and asked for a reduction in half, in exchange for his waiver of the preliminary hearing. 

Harling expressed concerns since this was Johnson's third domestic assault charge and his second resisting arrest charge.

“His eight-year-old daughter observed the event and there was allegedly a grab around the throat," Harling said.

Piccolo reduced bond from $25,000 to $12,500 and reminded Johnson that he can have no contact with the alleged victim.

 

Allen

In county court Thursday, Barry Allen was convicted of fraud by attempting to collect unemployment payments.

Allen pled guilty the charge.

Allen was accused of filing for unemployment benefits when he was working between April 13 and Aug. 10, 2013.

Police caught up with him in mid-April when a North Platte man accused him of harassment. Judge Michael Piccolo sentenced Allen to 90 days in jail to be served at the end of 12 months probation.

Piccolo told him the jail sentence would be waived if he successfully completes probation and pays restitution.

A payment plan was set up by the Department of Labor and Allen pays $100 every two weeks.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/22/2014
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