CUSTER COUNTY— While ten felony cases were on the docket for County Court on Monday, September 10, decisions were only made on three of those ten. The first case of the morning featured a man from Casper, Wyoming who was arrested in June for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.
According to the complaint read by Judge Tami Schendt, Trenton Nickerson, 31, was pulled over for speeding and when the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell alcohol on Nickerson’s breath. Nickerson was arrested for DUI on his 2nd offence and booked in Custer County Jail.
Nickerson, alongside his attorney John Vipperman, had reached a plea agreement with the County Attorney’s Office that if he pleads guilty or no contest to the charges, that the felony would be reduced to a misdemeanor. Nickerson did plead no contest to the DUI and his sentencing date was set for Monday, October 15 at 3 P.M.
Jason Nelson, 46 of Kearney, appeared in County Court for his preliminary hearing in the afternoon with his attorney Michael Borders. Nelson had been arrested on three separate counts of identity theft, filing a false financial statement, and unauthorized use of a credit card. A plea agreement had been reached that if Nelson agreed to plead guilty that the two felony counts of identity theft and unauthorized use of a credit card would be dropped.
Nelson and his attorney did agree to the plea deal and Nelson was found guilty of the charges of filing a false financial statement, a class 1 misdemeanor. In a letter to the court and county attorney, the defendants mother and in this case, victim, asked the court to sentence her son to probation. County Attorney Steven Bowers read pieces of the letter to the court saying the mother wanted probation because the restitution had been paid in full, as well as stating other issues that include mental health.
As court proceeded into sentencing, both the county attorney and Nelson’s attorney asked for probation which was agreed upon by Judge Tami Schendt. Judge Schendt sentenced Nelson to 6 months of probation, ordered him to pay court costs associated with probation, continue counseling, and to take financial/money management classes.
Melissa Nienaber, 26 of Broken Bow, was scheduled to appear in court in the morning, but after failing to appear, was given until the end of the day or a bench warrant would be issued. Nienaber did appear just before days end and according to the Custer County Clerk’s Office, plead not guilty for an accused theft on August 21, and asked for a continuance, which was granted, on the complaint of terroristic threats on August 24. Pre-trial for the theft, as well as the continuance date for the terroristic threats, were both set for October 29 at 2 P.M.
All other felony cases were continued to additional dates.