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Homeless man gets four-month sentenceTell North Platte what you think
 
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Jesus Montana

Jesus Montana appeared in court Thursday with attorney Amanda Speichert for a plea hearing on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

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Montana, a homeless man who likes to live downtown and sweep sidewalks, was arrested July 17 when officers responded to a call from Brother's tavern, that he had been asked to leave.

The caller said Montana had been forced to leave Brother's several times in the past and he often slept in the pavilion near Sixth and Bailey.

In court, Defense Attorney Amanda Speichert advised her client to plead guilty but told him he would get some jail time, due to his past record of similar charges.

Deputy County Attorney Austin Leighty did not make any sentencing recommendations, deferring to the court.

"My client never causes any damages,” Speichert said. “He has no home and is just looking for shelter. He owns up and takes responsibility for his actions."

She asked the court to for the minimum sentence.

Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull disagreed with Speichert.

"Not even looking at his shoplifting and other past charges, I don't agree with you," Turnbull said. "I understand the homeless part but I can't overlook his past record."

Turnbull sentenced him to 120 days in jail and gave him credit for seven days served.

Montana was arrested about 4-5 times a year during the three years of 2011-13. His most recent arrest was in June when he was also charged with trespassing. Before that, he served 56 days in September for two counts of shoplifting.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/25/2014
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