CUSTER COUNTY— Two criminal cases were heard in Custer County District Court on Thursday, February 4 with one case coming to an end while the other was just getting its start.
Christopher Gallett, 29 of Broken Bow, was arraigned on two counts of alleged child abuse not resulting in serious injury (each a class IIIA felony) from an incident in March 2020. During the hearing, Gallett’s attorney, Gary Peterson, stated that a plea deal had been offered, but the parties needed more time to do discovery before an agreement could be made.
Gallett pled not guilty to the two charges and the case was set for jury trial on June 14 at 9 AM with the pre-trial scheduled for May 20. If found guilty of both charges, Gallett could face up to six years in prison and be fined up to $20,000. A personal recognizance (PR) bond was also ordered by Judge Karin Noakes.
Acacia Lash, 33 of Broken Bow, appeared on Thursday and was sentenced for theft and criminal attempt (both class I misdemeanors). During arguments, Custer County Attorney Steve Bowers asked the court to go along with the plea deal and sentence Lash to two years of probation on each count and order them to be served consecutively. He also asked that she be ordered to pay $500 in restitution jointly and severally with two other defendants from the theft.
Lash’s attorney, Gary Peterson also asked the court to go along with the plea deal of two years of probation on each charge, but also asked that if Lash is able to complete all the requirements of probation that she be allowed to be released early. Peterson stated that since the theft, nearly eight years ago, Lash has only had one other run-in with the police.
Before being sentenced, Lash apologized to the victim and the family and stated that she takes full responsibility for her actions and would comply with whatever the court decided.
Judge Noakes followed the plea deal and sentenced Lash to two years of probation in each case to be served consecutively and also ordered her to pay $500 in restitution jointly and severally with the other two defendants. Judge Noakes also noted that the court could order an early release from probation, but it would need to be later into the probation term before it would be considered.