Man Accused Of Sexual Assault And Animal Cruelty To Be Evaluated If Competent To Stand Trial

CUSTER COUNTY— The Broken Bow man accused of sexual assault and animal cruelty appeared in Custer County District Court on Thursday, February 20 where he was initially scheduled for arraignment.

Branden Miller, 26 of Broken Bow, appeared in District Court facing charges of alleged 1st-degree sexual assault of a child (class IB felony) and two counts of alleged animal cruelty (each a class IIIA felony). According to Judge Karin Noakes, Miller’s attorney, Gary Peterson, filed a request for a competency evaluation which was granted after Custer County Attorney Steve Bowers said he would not object to the request.

Miller will now be evaluated before coming back to court on April 16 at 9:30 AM. If Miller is found competent to stand trial, he could be facing a life sentence if found guilty of the aforementioned charges.

Mathew Brakhage, 19 of Broken Bow, also made an appearance in court on Thursday where he took a plea deal. Brakhage pled no contest to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (each a class I misdemeanor) for two incidents that took place in 2018. According to the factual basis, Brakhage provided alcohol to the minor and also provided a phone to the minor so they could meet secretly.

Brakhage will now appear back in court on April 9 at 10:15 AM for sentencing. While he could face up to two years in jail for the charges, an agreement was also reached on sentencing where both sides would recommend probation.