Groups Want Jailhouse Records for Nebraska Man Convicted of Murder

ACLUOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two groups are suing to obtain jailhouse records on behalf of an Omaha man convicted of murder in 2009.

Antoine Young is serving a life sentence in the fatal shooting of Ray Webb in a restaurant’s drive-thru, plus 40 years on a related weapons charge.

In a complaint filed last week in court, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and the Nebraska Innocence Project says the Douglas County Corrections Director Mark Foxall improperly withheld records related to Young.

The Nebraska Innocence Project filed two open-records requests last year seeking documents from Young’s pretrial stay in the Douglas County jail, but its requests were denied.

Foxall has declined to comment.

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Young’s conviction in 2010.

Man’s Body Found in Grain Bin in Thurston County

thurston-county-sheriffEMERSON, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man whose body was found in a northeast Nebraska grain bin

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 53-year-old Todd Martin, of rural Emerson.

Martin’s body was found around 1 p.m. Monday in the bin, just east of Emerson. Other details have not been released.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.

Jetliner Makes Expedited Landing in Omaha After Warning Light Flashes

File Image

File Image

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A jetliner carrying 83 people made an expedited landing without incident in Omaha after an engine warning light flashed in the cockpit.

An American Airline spokeswoman says American Eagle Flight 5730 from Dallas was headed to Omaha Tuesday evening when the pilot noticed the warning light and then asked an Eppley Airfield controller to speed up the plane’s landing process. American Eagle is one of American’s regional air carriers.

The plane landed around 7:30 p.m.

Airline spokeswoman Jenna Arnold said Wednesday that she couldn’t confirm whether the pilot turned off the engine before landing. The Bombardier CRJ-900 has two engines.

Judge Dismisses Theft, Other Charges Against Beatrice Woman

judgeshipBEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — A judge has dismissed charges that had been filed against a southeast Nebraska woman accused of stealing nearly $45,000 from her boyfriend’s mother.

Fifty-six-year-old Rosemary Sanders, of Beatrice, had been charged with theft and abuse of a vulnerable adult. The charges were dismissed on Monday by Judge Daniel Bryan Jr., who was acting on a motion by Sanders’ attorney. The judge says prosecutors didn’t provide enough evidence to continue their action against Sanders.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Sanders was the woman’s caregiver and was given access to her bank account to help her pay bills. The affidavit says Sanders wrote checks to herself and used other checks for personal use.

Gage County Attorney Roger Harris says he expects to refile charges.

Hall County Officials Launch Investigation into Local Jail

jailGRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The Hall County Board of Supervisors has voted to hire a Lincoln law firm to lead an investigation into the Hall County Jail.

The board voted Tuesday after a short meeting with the county’s attorney, Jack Zitterkopf. The newspaper says Zitterkopf declined to specify what led to the investigation of the jail.

Corrections Director Fred Ruiz said that there had been complaints recently filed by jail staff and that one employee who made allegations quit her job last week. He declined to give further information about the complaints.

Lincoln City Council Denies Over $600K in Sewage Claims

city-of-lincolnLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln City Council has rejected more than $600,000 in claims by residents whose homes were damaged by sewage during heavy rains.

The sewage backups were caused by storm runoff overwhelming the Theresa Street wastewater treatment facility in October and May. The city attorney has said Lincoln isn’t legally responsible for the damage. He said city staffers weren’t negligent and that the damage was caused by the weather.

The council on Monday voted to deny the claims.

The council has made an effort to help affected residents by approving a $1 million program that would go toward cleanup costs. Property owners can either accept the city’s disaster assistance for cleanup costs or take their claims to district court.

Former Nebraska Death Row Inmate Died of Rare Salivary Gland Cancer

Michael Ryan (Dept. of Corrections Photo)

Michael Ryan (Dept. of Corrections Photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A man who spent 30 years on Nebraska’s death row for two cult murders died of complications from a rare cancer in his salivary glands.

A death certificate obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press lists the cause of death for Michael Ryan as “metastatic carcinoma or parotid gland origin.”

Ryan died on May 24 at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institutional in southeast Nebraska.

Ryan was convicted in the 1985 torture and killing of 25-year-old James Thimm at a farm near Rulo, where Ryan led a cult, and in the beating death of Luke Stice, the 5-year-old son of a cult member.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha told a legislative committee in March that Ryan suffered from terminal brain cancer. It’s not clear whether the cancer had spread.

Nebraska 2-Year-Old Dies After Being Found in Family’s Pool

nuckolls-county-sheriffLAWRENCE, Neb. (AP) — Officials say a 2-year-old girl has died after being found in a pool at her family’s home in southern Nebraska’s Nuckolls County.

The Nuckolls County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were sent to the home in Lawrence about 10:20 a.m. Sunday. The office says in a news release that investigators think the child climbed the ladder of the above-ground pool while she played unattended in the surrounding yard.

She was discovered in the water by her mother and grandmother after they noticed she wasn’t in the house. The Sheriff’s Office says the girl was taken to Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, where she was pronounced dead.

The child’s name and the names of her mother and grandmother haven’t been released. The girl’s death is being investigated.

 

1 Killed, 1 Injured in Separate Nebraska Boating Accidents

Nebraska_game_and_parksLINCOLN – A boating accident on the morning of June 29 in the tailwaters below Gavins Point Dam in Cedar County claimed the life of a 68-year-old Creighton woman.

Two boats collided at approximately 9:55 a.m. The victim was a passenger in one of the boats. She was transported to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, S.D., where she was pronounced dead.

Conservation officers with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nebraska State Patrol, Cedar County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar County Emergency Management, responded to the accident.

The investigation is ongoing. Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor in the accident. The Cedar County Attorney has ordered an autopsy on the victim. Both boats have been impounded.

A boating accident on the evening of June 28 at Whitney Lake in northwest Nebraska sent a woman to a hospital with serious arm and shoulder injuries.

A 40-year-old Crawford man was operating a boat on the Dawes County lake approximately 9 miles south of Crawford. The boat apparently struck a wake while making a turn, throwing the woman overboard. She was struck by the boat’s propeller. The victim was transported to Chadron Community Hospital and then later flown to a hospital in Fort Collins. Colo. The accident is under investigation.

Man Sentenced in Death of Bald Eagle in Northeast Nebraska

dept.-of-justiceLINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A man convicted in the death of a bald eagle in northeast Nebraska in 2014 has been sentenced to probation.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg says 24-year-old Antonio Bertucci, of Macy, received one year of supervised release Monday for his conviction of aiding and abetting the unlawful killing of a bald eagle.

Bertucci will serve nearly three years in prison on a separate conviction of habitual domestic abuse. That also includes three years of supervised release.

Prosecutors say Bertucci was the driver of a car in February 2014 that was involved in the shooting death of a bald eagle. Witnesses say a passenger in Bertucci’s car shot at two bald eagles on the Omaha Indian Reservation. One of the birds was found dead in the car trunk.