District Court Holds First Criminal Cases Of 2021

CUSTER COUNTY— During the first court day of 2021 in Custer County District Court one person was arraigned and another sentenced on Thursday, January 7.

Jaquan Rogers, 19 of Chicago, IL., appeared via Zoom and was arraigned on two charges of first-degree forgery (each a class III felony) from April 2020. Rogers’ attorney, Chris Wickham, stated that a tentative plea deal had been reached in the case and that Rogers would most likely enter a plea at the next court date.

Rogers entered a not guilty plea on the two charges and the case was set for jury trial on February 8 with a pre-trial conference scheduled for January 21 at 10:15 AM via Zoom. While a plea deal will most likely be reached in the case, if the agreement falls through Rodgers could face four years in prison and be fined up to $25,000 for each charge.

Ryan Frawley, 34 of Broken Bow, appeared via Zoom and was sentenced for burglary (class IIA felony) and possession of a controlled substance (class IV felony). Frawley had taken a plea deal previously and in exchange was accepted into drug court where he was eventually terminated from the program in September 2020.

During sentencing on Thursday, Deputy County Attorney Kayla Haberstick asked the court to sentence Frawley to three to four years for both charges stating that even after being terminated from drug court and knowing he was going to be sentenced, continued to use alcohol.

Frawley’s attorney, Chris Wickham, pointed out that Frawley had been doing well in drug court before he began to spiral out of control. Wickham stated that his client knows he has an addiction problem and it is something he will have to deal with. He asked the court to sentence his client to six months on each case to be served concurrently.

Frawley spoke briefly before being sentenced, apologizing to the court and stated that he has been struggling with his addiction, but wants to get better for his kids.

Judge Karin Noakes said that she has high hopes for Frawley in the future as she saw moments where he was doing well in drug court before being removed. She also noted that the pre-sentence investigation showed that addiction is the root of the problem.

Judge Noakes sentenced Frawley to eighteen months to three years in prison for burglary and six to nine months for the possession charge. Frawley was also given 72 days credit for time already served for the burglary charge and 85 days credit for the possession charge. Frawley was also ordered to pay $6,100 in restitution.

Judge Noakes concluded the sentencing by telling Frawley, “You have the ability to lead a productive life and to be there for your kids.”