FALLS CITY – April Feighner was sentenced to just over three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution for damaging The Spirit Shoppe liquor store with an explosive.
As part of a plea agreement, Deputy Richardson County Attorney Samantha Scheitel said she would not oppose a sentence of probation for possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor conviction of use of an explosive without a permit.
Scheitel: “The facts of this case are circumstantial, which led to the plea agreement in its entirety.”
Feighner has no prior felony convictions, and Defense Attorney Lee Timan said a probation sentence will provide her the first real chance to deal with a history of abusive relationships and drug abuse.
District Judge Julie Smith said the circumstances surrounding the offense are concerning.
Smith: “I understand that you have had a problem with methamphetamine. You’re not just here on a possession of methamphetamine charge. You’re here because you bombed a building.”
The explosion damaged an ice machine, broke a window and toppled merchandise inside the building.
Smith: “In your interview with deputy Kirkendall you indicated your motive for doing that is because you believed that this would be some sort of revenge against the chief of police for harassing people. So your motivation is concerning.”
She said the Spirit Shoppe was closed at the time, but said Feighner did not know how much damage the bomb would do or how big of a blast area it would have. She said Feighner may also have put first responders at risk.
Feighner denied making the statement to the sheriff’s deputy.
Timan: “It’s not her recollection that she made that comment to deputy Kirkendall.”
The denial prompted Judge Smith to read from the police report regarding the interview. She read that police believe Feighner’s comment referenced the prior arrest of her boyfriend Travis Kirkendall.
A fire marshal investigators’ report says Feighner discussed the explosion with Kirkendall while he was held at the Richardson County Jail.
Court records say another inmate told investigators he was with Feighner and Kirkendall when it was discussed to put the explosive on the police chief’s vehicle when it was parked at his residence. Investigators say the Spirit Shoppe was chosen because it is owned by a relative of the police chief.
An arrest warrant was issued for Kirkendall in October after he failed to appear in court on a burglary charge.
Feighner told the judge she just needs some accountability.
Feighner: “I wasn’t able to pull myself out of the situation I was in. Well, being in jail for five months kind of helped me do that.”
Timan said Feighner has distanced herself from the individuals involved in the case and had agreed to cooperate with the state in the prosecution of others.