A 28-year-old Lincoln man was sentenced on Monday to four years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for driving a stolen car into a Fremont yard while in possession of methamphetamine.
Tyler R. Finley pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving that same day in the Dodge County District Court.
Shortly before 4:30 a.m. Dec. 31, 2020, the Fremont Police Department received a report of a vehicle running in the middle of East Linden Avenue, Deputy Dodge County Attorney Emily Beamis said.
Upon checking the plates of the vehicle, Beamis said officers were advised through dispatch that the vehicle had been reported as stolen out of Omaha.
“As the officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect in the vehicle began to drive across Bell Street,” she said. “Due to snowy conditions, the driver lost control of the vehicle and drove into the front yard of a house across Bell Street, and the vehicle then became stuck in the snow.”
The driver was removed from the vehicle and identified as Finley. An officer found a bag of white substance on Finely that later tested positive for meth, Beamis said.
Finley’s attorney said her client wanted to waive his presentence investigation and that they agreed he was not an appropriate candidate for probation.
Judge Geoffrey Hall found Finley guilty and sentenced him to two years each in prison on the theft and drug possession charges to be run concurrently. Finley must serve a minimum of one year and is not eligible for post-release supervision.
Finley was also sentenced to seven days in jail for the reckless driving charge, but was given credit for 82 days previously served.
In other district court news on Monday:
- Derek A. Kaup, 23, of Emerson was sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting to violating his probation. On Feb. 18, 2020, Kaup was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance from an incident on Aug. 27, 2019. However, Kaup was arrested on Oct. 30, 2020, and is facing new charges of third-degree assault, criminal mischief and disturbing the peace in Thurston County. Kaup apologized for “disrespecting the courtroom” to Hall, who accepted his admission. Kaup was given 57 days credit previously served and was also sentenced to nine months of PRS.
- Eldi B. Hernandez, 38, of Omaha was sentenced to one year in prison for operating a vehicle to avoid arrest. On Oct. 9, 2020, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a Nebraska State Patrol pursuit heading into the county from Colfax County. A deputy followed in pursuit for almost 15 miles before the vehicle, driven by Hernandez, stopped in the median after running out of gas. “It sounds like a bad movie, but it’s unfortunately real life,” Hall said. Hernandez pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 8. Hernandez’s lawyer said his client had spent 300 days in the Platte Valley Jail and suffered from mental illness. However, Hall said Hernandez’s conduct was “troubling” and “dangerous,” and Beamis presented Hall with two prior convictions. Hernandez was given credit for eight days previously served and had his driver’s license revoked for two years. Hall also ordered Hernandez’s sentence to be run concurrently with his case in Platte Valley.
- Todd A. Schreck, 55, of Fremont pleaded guilty to two separate charges of possession of a controlled substance and another charge of escaping while under arrest on a felony charge. On Aug. 20, 2020, FPD officers were called to a disturbing the peace complaint as Schreck was banging on the door of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment. After he was placed under arrest, a pipe containing meth was found in his pocket. On Dec. 8, 2020, a DCSO deputy pulled over a vehicle with expired plates. During a probable cause search, law enforcement found a glass bong, meth and digital read scale. On Dec. 11, Dodge County Corrections received information that the GPS monitor for Schreck, who was on house arrest, was not working. DCSO corrections officials attempted to call Schreck several times and visited his reported residence, where he found to not be staying at. Schreck, who previously filed a writ not guilty plea, withdrew the plea to make his guilty pleas. As part of Schreck’s plea deal, Beamis said she would be seeking two years in prison on each charge to be run consecutively. Hall found Schreck guilty, ordered a PSI and set his sentencing for May 3.
- Edward J. Peters, 53, of Fremont pleaded no contest to theft by deception. On July 23, 2020, a Fremont man hired Peters to do reconstruction work on his home. The man signed a handwritten contract and paid Peters $10,000 for the work, but after cashing the check, Peters left Fremont. On Sept. 23, 2020, FPD called Peters, who said he had sent new materials to the man, who said that was not the case. Peters’ attorney said her client wanted to waive his PSI and did not want probation, as he wanted to serve his sentence and pay the $10,000 restitution. Beamis, who said she was not opposed to probation, opposed holding sentencing that day, and Hall denied the motion to do so. Hall found Peters guilty, ordered a PSI and set his sentencing for April 26.
- Daniel J. Murray, 21, of Omaha pleaded guilty to delivery of a controlled substance. On Feb. 5, Murray was pulled over by a DCSO deputy for driving over the speed limit. Murray admitted that he had marijuana in the vehicle that he intended to sell, and after a search was conducted, 10 unopened cartridges of tetrahydrocannabinol were found. As part of his plea deal, Beamis said Murray would apply to the Dodge County Adult Drug Court. Hall found Murray guilty, ordered a PSI and set a tentative date for sentencing on May 3 pending his application.
- Stephanie A. Contreras, 36, of Omaha had her hearings on a motion to suppress evidence and motion for independent testing set for April 22. Contreras is facing a possession of a controlled substance charge from an incident on July 15, 2020. Contreras’ attorney said the testing was needed to determine the purity of the meth, which he said is not done by the state of Nebraska and was relevant to the case.
- Jacob E. Edmondson, 27, of Fremont had his hearing on a motion to suppress evidence set for May 18. Edmondson is facing a driving under the influence charge from an incident on Aug. 22, 2020.
- Ever I. Avelar, 20, of Fremont had his bond reduced to 10% of $15,000. Avelar is facing a possession of a firearm by a prohibited person charge from an incident on Dec. 21, 2020. Avelar’s attorney said her client was pleading not guilty and that the charge wasn’t related to violence or drugs. Beamis opposed the reduction, saying the charge was a Class 1D felony and that Avelar’s bond had already been reduced from $75,000 to $50,000. She also said he had failed to previously appear in court and that the charge came shortly after his release from prison. Hall approved the motion and set Alevar’s status hearing for April 19.
- Lashunda M. Pittman, 42, of Fremont appeared in court to be assigned an attorney. Pittman is facing a possession of a controlled substance charge from an incident on July 5, 2020. On Dec. 7, she failed to appear for her court date and a bench warrant was issued at 10% of $100,000. As her case had been continued since September 2020, Pittman’s attorney was released from her obligations. Hall denied a motion by Pittman to reduce her bond and set her next hearing for April 12.
- Christopher D. Byrd, 38, of Fremont had a bench warrant placed for his arrest after failing to appear in court. Byrd is facing charges of one count of burglary and two counts of first-degree criminal trespassing from a Jan. 17 incident. Hall set Byrd’s bond at 10% of $100,000.