Two Knox County Court sentencings continued as defendants face new charges

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Posted: Friday, March 1, 2019 6:03 am

A Creighton man, who was set for sentencing in Knox County Court on Feb. 28, on a domestic assault charge, instead found himself facing the judge in a new case, on allegations of a similar crime.

The Honorable Donna Taylor found sufficient evidence existed for detention of Christopher Costello, 41, on a count of domestic assault, third degree, a Class 1 misdemeanor alleged Feb. 17.

Taylor set bond at $10,000, 10 percent - with a condition - no contact with the victim until further order of the court. A similar condition was attached to bond of $4,000, 10 percent, posted in June 2018 for a May 28 offense, but was subsequently removed by Taylor on July 5, at the request of the victim.

An indigency hearing was held. The defendant was again found indigent, with Rodney Smith of O’Neill, who represents him in the first case, appointed as counsel in the new case.

Costello had changed his not guilty plea in the first case, to no contest Jan. 3, after entering a plea deal with Knox County prosecutor, John Thomas. The agreement included a joint recommendation for a six-month month probation sentence, including treatment programs and alcohol evaluation. Taylor had ordered a full presentence investigation.

Both cases are on the court docket for March 7.

Sentencing for Ryan Davison, 40, of Yankton, S.D., is also continued until March 7 on a DUI conviction, after he also was charged for a new offense. Davison was convicted of an Oct. 18 offense Jan. 3, and faced Taylor on Feb. 28 for a new charge, DUI, second offense, enhanced, a Class I misdemeanor alleged Feb. 12, following a rollover accident.

Davison pleaded not guilty. He is also set for a pretrial hearing in the second case March 7.

Bond filed Oct. 19, in the amount of $1,500, 10 percent, is continued and Taylor set bond at $10,000, 10 percent in the new case. He was remanded to the custody of the county sheriff.  He is represented by Smith.

In other Knox County Court proceedings Feb. 28:

Dillon Babcock, 27, of Bloomfield appeared before Taylor for sentencing.

Taylor sentenced him to 14 days in the Knox County Jail, with credit for 14 days served, revoked his driver’s license for one year and ordered him to pay costs of $52.

Babcock pleaded guilty to driving under suspension, before reinstated, a Class 3 misdemeanor, after reaching a plea agreement with county prosecutor, John Thomas. In return, Thomas agreed to file no further charges related to the Dec. 7 offense, specifically, a failure to appear charge.

According to the complaint, Babcock’s license had been revoked in Polk County Court in March 2017, after suspensions for child support and failure to comply.

An arrest warrant was signed after the defendant failed to appear Jan. 17, and he was placed under arrest Feb. 8.

Babcock was represented by Knox County public defender, Rodney Smith of O’Neill.

Ronald M. Wesche, 60, of Verdigre appeared in front of Taylor to be sentenced for a third-degree assault conviction.

Taylor handed Wesche a 62-day jail sentence, a nine-month term of probation, with related fees totaling $300, and $60 costs.

Wesche was convicted of the July 2018 Class 1 misdemeanor Jan. 3, after a plea deal reduced the charge from sexual assault without consent, third degree, also a Class 1 misdemeanor.

He was represented by Smith.

Ruth A. Martell-White, 45, of Niobrara pleaded guilty to a Class 2 misdemeanor count of no proof of insurance and was sentence to a $100 fine and costs of $52.

Bond of $1,500, filed Monday, was released.

Martell-White failed to appear Dec. 20 and a warrant for her arrest was issued Feb. 11. The warrant was served by the Knox County sheriff Feb. 19.

Fred A. Cooper, 56, of Winnetoon was also sentenced to time in the county jail. He pleaded guilty to an amended Count I, driving under the influence, a Class W misdemeanor and Count II, driving under suspension, a Class 3 misdemeanor. The offenses were committed Nov 15, 2018.

Taylor sentenced Cooper to a $500 fine, 14 days in jail and revoked his driver’s license for six months on Count I; two days in jail and revoked his driver’s license for an additional year on Count II. The jail sentences are concurrent and he was given credit for one day previously served. He was also ordered to pay costs of $155.

Smith requested a continuance for his client, Loren Klug, 55, of Winnetoon, who failed to appear for a pretrial hearing. The prosecutor did not object and the case is continued to March 7.

Klug is accused of the Sept. 17, 2018, theft of a heat pump and DeWalt tool charger belonging to the Ponca Health and Wellness Center in Niobrara. He pleaded not guilty to the Class 1 misdemeanor count Dec. 6.

Daniel Bush, 28, of Yankton, S.D., failed to appear for arraignment. He is charged with driving a vehicle without a valid registration and without proof of insurance on two occasions, Jan. 19 and Jan 21. Bush failed to appear. Taylor directed the court clerk to leave the defendant a message to appear for arraignment March 7.

On behalf of his client, Emmanuel Morales, 26, of Lincoln, Smith  requested permission to enter written not guilty pleas in the case and a motion in limine was submitted on stipulated facts.

 The defendant is charged with three counts alleged Nov. 12, 2018, Count I, DUI, alcohol, first offense, a Class W misdemeanor; Count II, refuse to consent to test, also a Class W misdemeanor; and Count  III, possession of marijuana, less than one oz., first offense, an infraction.

Taylor granted permission for the written pleas, took under advisement a motion to quash filed on Count II in January, and ordered parties may submit authority relative to the case by March 7.

Bond of $1,500, 10 percent, filed Nov. 13, is continued.

Bradley M. Swenson, 65, of Colman, S.D., pleaded guilty by waiver to violating six Nebraska Game and Parks hunting regulations, all Class 2 misdemeanors committed in November 2018. He was fined $100 each for Count I, failure to check traps once a day; Count II, illegal possession of a live fur-bearing animal; Count III, set traps within 30 feet of exposed bait; count IV, failure to tag traps; Count V, hunt within 200 yards of baited area; and Count VI, accessory to violation of deer regulations (hunt within 200 yards of baited area); and $49 costs.

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