A North Platte man, accused of deliberately setting a mobile home on fire and thereby attempting to murder his girlfriend, is contesting the charges.
James Brown’s defense attorney asked a Lincoln County District Court Monday to dismiss all charges against his client.
Brown, 58, was charged Aug. 28 with attempted second-degree murder and attempted arson. He allegedly threw gasoline on his girlfriend and threatened to set her on fire, then set fire to their trailer house in the 300 block of McCabe Ave., according to the initial police report.
Brown remains in custody, held on a $1 million bond. He has been in jail for 70 days.
Defense Attorney Kent Florom protested the charges. He gave a copy of the transcript from a previous contested preliminary hearing in county court to District Judge Richard Birch.
“It is interesting when we compare the charges that have been brought against my client to the facts that are listed in the preliminary hearing,” Florom said.
Florom described discrepancies in the timeline of events that allegedly occurred the day Brown was arrested outside the trailer house.
Florom said the accusations didn’t match up with the evidence that police found at the scene. He told Birch he believes that once the transcript is examined, there will be no doubt that both charges should be dismissed.
Birch took it under advisement and agreed to study the records. He told Brown to return to court on Dec. 4.
Also, Santos Polanco was convicted of fourth offense driving under the influence of alcohol and well begin two years of probation.
Polanco, 51, pled no contest to the charge.
On June 19, the car he was driving hit a pickup parked on the north side of Seventh St. in front of the Hub Bar. Then Polanco crossed the street, hit the curb, and stopped. Police found him behind the wheel with the engine running and an bottle of whiskey beside him.
He was sentenced to 24 months of supervised substance abuse probation, in addition to 120 days in jail, a $2,000 fine and revocation of his driver’s license for 15 years.
Defense Attorney Chawnta Durham said Polanco is on a waiting list to enter a treatment facility. She said he wants to change his life and is grateful the court is offering him probation.
“I want to take this opportunity to get things turned around,” Polanco said.
“I hope you do,” Birch said. “It would be good for you and all the rest of us.”
Birch credited him with 137 days in jail, which satisfied his jail sentence and covered his fine and court costs.
He was released from custody to begin supervised probation.
In a prior DUI arrest in August 2016, Polanco drove his car into a semi-truck at Ninth and Cottonwood. Before hitting the truck, he had hit a mailbox and a parked pickup as his car weaved back and forth across the street for more than three blocks. Police found him passed out in the driver’s seat.
Also, Timothy Dike was sentenced to 180 days in jail for second-degree forgery.
Dike, 32, was on probation for the crime, but he violated probation so he faced resentencing.
He was convicted in March 2016 of writing bad checks for $1,000 worth of electronic equipment at Express AVL.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling said a change in the statute gave Dike the chance at probation. “I was quite positive, having dealt with him since he was young, he continues to use and doesn’t seem to want to stop,” Harling said.
Harling said Dike was placed on probation on July 25, but tested positive for drugs four days later. She recommended 360 days in jail.
Defense Attorney Mike Nozicka asked for less time; he said Dike has made positive strides, holding down a job and raising a child.
Nozicka asked the court to give his client time to get his affairs in order and obtain a work release before he goes to jail to serve out his sentence.
“We don’t want you to lose your job,” he said.
Birch ordered him to report on Nov. 18. He gave Dike credit for 63 days served.
Daryl Jones, 37, was released from jail although he was convicted of third-degree assault and attempted possession of meth.
Jones pled no contest to the charges. In return, prosecutors reduced both charges to misdemeanors and dismissed another charge of terroristic threats, for allegedly shooting a gun into the ceiling of an apartment at 900 block of S. Tabor.
Birch sentenced Jones to 30 days for assault of a confined person, and 90 days for attempted possession. Jones already served that much time since his arrest on July 16, so he was released from custody, according to sheriff’s records.