A 40-year-old North Platte man was sentenced to two to three years in prison Monday for refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test and then leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase through the city.
Eric J. Burke was sentenced in Lincoln County District Court for the Feb. 20 incident. He received a two-year sentence for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, and also two to three years for refusing a test with three prior convictions.
The sentences will run at the same time, and Burke was credited with 206 days served.
Burke had pleaded guilty to both counts in July, while a charge of driving under the influence was dismissed in the plea agreement.
According to court documents, law enforcement stopped Burke on Rodeo Road for having non-working taillights on his vehicle.
Burke refused both a field sobriety test and a Breathalyzer test.
He then drove off and reached speeds three times the posted limit. He struck a parked vehicle at the intersection of West 10th Street and Elm Avenue, ignored three stop signs and ran a red light at the intersection of Rodeo Road and Buffalo Bill Avenue.
He was eventually arrested on South Ames Avenue.
In other cases Monday (defendants are from North Platte unless otherwise noted):
» Austen J. Barraclough, 29, of Hastings, pleaded guilty of possession of methamphetamine in November 2020. He also admitted violating conditions of post-release supervision in a separate case.
Barraclough was sentenced to 364 days in jail on the possession charge and 120 days for the PRS violation.
Both terms will run at the same time and he was credited with 162 days served.
» Colby T. Dewey, 29, pleaded no contest to aiding and abetting a burglary on April 8.
Dewey drove the vehicle for an individual who stole two computers from a business on East Front Street.
He was sentenced to 364 days in jail and credited with 158 days served.
» Joey A. Zeigler, 43, pleaded guilty to an amended count of attempted driving after suspension in an August 2020 incident.
Zeigler was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
» Sally M. Hipwell, 37, pleaded guilty to an amended count of driving under the influence, second offense, with a blood-alcohol content more than .15 that stems from a March 2019 arrest.
Hipwell was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a license revocation of 18 months.
» Jennifer G. Reyna, 37, pleaded no contest to a charge of receiving stolen property with a value of $500 or less as well as a charge of possession of methamphetamine in two separate cases.
Charges of criminal impersonation and obstruction of an officer in a third case were dismissed in the plea agreement.
Reyna was sentenced to 18 months of specialized substance abuse probation in both cases. The terms run at the same time.
» Richard B. Valentine, 53, pleaded no contest to a count of theft by unlawful taking with a value of $500 or less, and possession of methamphetamine.
Both charges stem from a series of thefts from vehicles parked at Wallace High School on April 27.
Valentine was sentenced to 180 days in jail on both charges and the terms will run at the same time.
He was credited with 59 days served.
» Jordan T. Olnhausen, 25, of Minden, pleaded no contest to an amended count of possession of methamphetamine in August 2020.
A theft-by-taking charge in a separate case was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Olnhausen was scheduled to 18 months of probation.
» Destin L. Hewitt, 21, pleaded guilty to felony counts of burglary and possession of Xanax that stem from a break-in at a North Platte residence June 2.
Hewitt’s sentence has been deferred as he has been accepted into the state’s problem-solving court program.
» James C. Beseke, 34, of Curtis, pleaded no contest to an amended count of attempted possession of methamphetamine in July 2020.
Beseke was sentenced to an 18-month probation term.
» Brian J. Loving, 49, was sentenced to terms of 107 days for three separate cases in which he violated terms of his probation.
Two of the cases are from 2018 and the third from 2016.
The terms run at the same time and he was credited for time served.
» Louis W. Brogdon, 58, pleaded not guilty to eight counts related to a June 20 incident.
Brogdon pleaded not guilty to five counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a defaced firearm, possession of 10 to 27 grams of methamphetamine, and carrying a concealed weapon.
A Nov. 22 status hearing was scheduled.
» Bill S. Smith, 46, of Denver, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges over two cases that all stem from a June 2019 incident.
Smith is charged with possession of methamphetamine in one case. In the other case, he is charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of burglar’s tools and possession of psilocybin.
A Nov. 22 status hearing was scheduled for both cases.
» Kent A. Smith, 33, pleaded no contest to counts of possession of methamphetamine in three separate cases that date from Dec. 10, 2019, and March 21 and 25, 2020.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22.
» Aaron M. Goold, 38, of Wellfleet, pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine, possession of fentanyl and possession of Suboxone, all stemming from a June 23 incident.
Goold also pleaded not guilty of use of a firearm to commit a felony, making terroristic threats and third-degree domestic assault in a separate case that stems from a June 20 incident.
An Oct. 18 status hearing was set for both cases.
» Dylan Shaw, 20, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges over two separate cases.
Shaw pleaded not guilty to seven counts that stem from a May 22 incident: possession of 10 to 27 grams of methamphetamine, possession of Xanax, possession of Klonopin, possession of Ativan, possession of Valium, possession of Adderall and possession of Lyrica.
He also pleaded not guilty to a felony count of burglary as well as a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property with a value of $500 or less. Both charges stem from a March 21 incident.
A Nov. 22 status hearing was scheduled for both cases.
» Julius M. Reed, 30, of Omaha, pleaded no contest to an amended charge of third-degree domestic assault that stems from a Dec. 26 incident.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 4.
» Jamie A. O’Hair, 24, of Liberty Township, Ohio, pleaded not guilty to possession of more than a pound of marijuana and distribution of a controlled substance in a May 25 incident.
A Nov. 8 status hearing was scheduled.
» Calvin L. Theus, 37, pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine on July 3.
An Oct. 18 status hearing was scheduled.
» Pernellie R. Houser, 31, pleaded not guilty to felony counts of driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher with three prior convictions, as well as refusal to submit to a test, fourth offense.
The charges stem from a July 24 arrest.
An Oct. 18 status hearing is scheduled.
» Robert R. Gonzales, 34, pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine in two separate cases that date from Feb. 6 and July 21.
Gonzalez also pleaded not guilty to a felony count of receiving stolen property with a value of $500 or less on July 4.
An Oct. 18 status hearing was set for all three cases.
More by Tim Johnson
5 crime stories that stood out in 2020
From our reporter who covers the crime beat, here are some memorable articles he worked on this year.
This was the first time in my career I've covered a murder from the beginning. The case has kept reader interest, as well.
One of the most memorable court hearings in 2020: The victim's father had a lot to say to the man accused of killing his son.
One thing that really stuck with me is the ages of the three men involved. Both co-defendants just turned 18 this year and the victim was only 22.
The initial suspect, a Colorado teenager, was cleared through DNA and his former accuser was then convicted.
I included this on the list for a simple reason: It is a case that generated reader interest from the initial arrest and continues to do so.