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County Court report: Charges reduced against accused arsonTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
James Peterson
Courtesy Photo­Image
Christopher Herring

James Peterson was convicted Thursday of third degree domestic assault and child abuse after he allegedly shot flames toward his girlfriend and child with an aerosol can and a lighter.

Peterson alluded to burning the house down with the others inside, then lit up a lighter and placed it against an inside doorway as well as an outside window, police were told.  

No one was injured, but Peterson was arrested and held on $250,000 bond.

In court Thursday, he pled guilty to the charges. In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges of felony arson and assault.

Defense attorney Kent Florom asked for a straight forward sentence for his client. Piccolo sentenced him to 60 days in jail plus costs. Peterson received credit for 16 days served in jail already.



Also, Christopher Herring waived his right to a preliminary hearing and charges were bound over to district court.

Herring is charged in the burglary of Winfield’s Coffee at B and Dewey in November, and also for writing more than $1,500 in bad checks – both felonies.

On Nov. 6, police found the east, main door of Winfield’s was shattered and the cash register was missing. They found the missing register and drawer in the alley nearby. Herring was identified through surveillance video.

Herring had just been cited earlier that morning for shoplifting, stemming from a complaint on Oct. 29, police spokesman Rodney Brown said.

Herring was found in another county and delivered to Lincoln County on June 4. He is held on bond that total $85,000.

On his behalf, defense attorney Amanda Speichert also pled not guilty to two charges of failure to appear. She requested a bench trial on the charges.

Speichert told Herring she would meet with him soon to discuss the pleas.


In other court actions Thursday:


Marilyn Rajdl was convicted of issuing a bad check. She pled guilty, and in exchange the charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Rajdl was charged with writing a bad check to Mid America Diesel for $4,091.92 for repairs to a vehicle.

She was ordered to pay restitution and fined $250.            



James Lashley appeared before Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo Thursday for sentencing on charges of second offense driving under the influence and domestic assault.

Lashley was arrested in February after he created a disturbance. He is living in a halfway house in Grand Island, receiving counseling for his alcohol problem.

"I am going to meetings every day and I have a job," Lashley told Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo.

Pre-sentence investigators recommended probation.

Piccolo sentenced him to 18 months probation for DUI, along with a $1,000 fine, plus court costs, 30 days in jail and he revoked his driver’s license for a year. Lashley was given credit for 28 days served.

Piccolo moved probation to Grand Island to allow Lashley to remain at the halfway house, then sentenced him to 18 months probation for domestic assault. The probations will run concurrent.

Piccolo told him to enter a domestic abuse program in Grand Island. He sentenced him to 60 days in jail at the end of his probation and told Lashley the jail time could be waived if he successfully completes probation.

"I wish you the best of luck. Do all you can and you will be able to live a productive life," Piccolo said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/12/2014
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