CUSTER COUNTY— With Custer County District Judge Karin Noakes in quarantine, cases were held remotely on Thursday, January 21.
The first criminal case of the morning was Trenton Esch, 44 of Broken Bow, who is facing alleged charges of first-degree murder (class IA felony), use of a firearm during the commission of a felony (class IC felony), and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (class ID felony).
During the telephonic hearing, Esch’s attorney, James Martin Davis, asked the court to continue the case as depositions along with other trial matters had not been completed by Davis or Special Deputy County Attorney Michael Guinan from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.
Judge Noakes granted the continuance, and the jury trial was moved to June 14 at 9 AM.
Jaquan Rogers, 20 of Chicago IL., appeared for entry of a plea hearing on an amended charge of criminal attempt (class IV felony). Rogers had initially been charged with two counts of 1st-degree forgery (class III felony) before pleading no contest to the lesser charge. In return for his plea of no contest, the second charge of forgery was dismissed.
According to Custer County Attorney Steve Bowers, Rogers and other co-defendants were arrested after they used fake $100 bills at four different locations throughout Custer County to purchase items of lesser value where they then received back cash.
Rogers will now appear back in court on February 18 at 10:30 AM to be sentenced via Zoom. While Rogers could be sentenced to prison, both Bowers and Rogers’ attorney, Christopher Wickham, agreed to ask for probation and for it to be served concurrently with another case in Buffalo County.