Animal Neglect and Arson Cases Scheduled for Jury Trial in Custer County

CUSTER COUNTY—During Thursday morning’s district court session, Mason City man Bruce L. Hahn, 62, pleaded not guilty to five counts of cruel neglect of an animal. The class IV felonies allegedly took place between July 2013 and May 2016. Judge Karin Noakes scheduled the case for jury trial in October.

Melody Hardin of Litchfield is also scheduled for jury trial after pleading not guilty to first degree arson (class II felony) and burglary (class IIA felony). The 53-year-old is charged after a February 2018 incident.

Richard E. Brass Jr., 24, of Omaha appeared in district court on a motion to be terminated from problem solving court. Judge Noakes read in court Brass’s alleged violations which he denied. Deputy County Attorney Kayla Clark asked that bond not be reduced due to the problem solving court violations and the felonies Brass had previously been convicted of in district court. Judge Noakes issued bonds of $25,000 with 10-percent privilege for two separate cases. Brass will appear for a hearing on June 21.

Randy Judd, 18, also appeared on a motion to be terminated from problem solving court. After reading condition violations, Judge Noakes accepted Judd’s request to withdraw from problem solving court. He will be sentenced on his previously entered guilty pleas on July 19.

As part of a plea agreement, Amber Grant, 26, withdrew her not guilty plea of possession of methamphetamine that she entered on March 1. She pled guilty and was found guilty of possession of methamphetamine (class IV felony) for a December 2017 incident. The state dismissed other counts and the Lincoln woman will appear for sentencing on June 21.

A Merna man appeared in court for violation of probation. Matthew G. McAlevy, 26, requested a public defender and a hearing to admit/deny allegations is scheduled for July 19. A PR bond was set at $1,000.

A Broken Bow man was found guilty of unlawful intrusion and two cases of witness tampering for a December 2017 incident in which he allegedly had a recording device inside of a bathroom. Brian R. Middour, 39, pleaded no contest to the class IV felonies. He is scheduled to appear back in court on July 19.