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District court sends North Platte man back to prisonTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Kent Smith
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Casey L. Williams
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
James E. Dotts
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Katie R. Schumacher

Kent Smith, 29, was sentenced Monday to 1-3 years in the penitentiary for attempted false imprisonment and third-degree domestic abuse.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Tanya Roberts-Connick asked for a lengthy sentence, due to Smith’s past record. On the other hand, Defense Attorney Kent Florom asked for credit for entering a plea and saving the time and expense of a trial.

Speaking on his own behalf, Smith said he was doing well while out on probation, until he got into an argument.

“I was doing good, had a full-time job but got in an argument. I know this is my last chance,” he said. “I need help.”

Birch agreed he needed help, but said probation is not appropriate.

“And, you will get help as there, as 12 months’ post-release supervision is attached to this sentence.”

Florom gave Smith credit for 141 days served.

Smith was arrested in January. Police found him in Menard’s and picked him up on prior charges. It was his fifth arrest in Lincoln County in two years. He spent 222 days in jail during that time, according to sheriff's records.

Smith served a year in the Nebraska Penitentiary for third-degree assault, strangulation and false imprisonment. He was released in November 2015 and assigned to the Community Corrections Center for work release, but he absconded, according to Department of Corrections records.

Previously, Smith served six-and-a-half months in the state penitentiary in 2011 for two counts of aiding and abetting a burglary in Lincoln County. At that time, a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy said he found a stocking cap full of jewelry under the back seat of a pickup Smith was driving.



James Dotts, 35, and Casey Williams, 25, who led police on a high-speed car chase Dec. 27, were sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail.

Both pled no contest to possession of a short shotgun and a defaced weapon.

And, Williams, who was driving, did not contest a charge of flight to avoid arrest.

In exchange for their pleas, prosecutors dismissed charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and stolen firearms.

According to court records, the pair was arrested after police responded to a report of a man and woman arguing outside a van at an I-80 gas station. When police arrived, they took off, swerving around the officers. Williams ran a red light and sped south on U.S. Highway 83 at speeds near 80 miles per hour, police said.

When Williams tried to make a U-turn on U.S. 83 near Fremont St. she skidded into a ditch, drove through a fence and the van stalled trying to climb out.

Both occupants tried to run away, but police apprehended them without incident.

Police found the weapons in the car and learned the vehicle was stolen in New Mexico.

After running their fingerprints, they found out that both were wanted in New Mexico -- Williams for burglary and Dotts on five warrants, including aggravated burglary.

Lincoln County prosecutors reduced the charges to settle their cases here so they can be returned to New Mexico.

Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch sentenced them to 90 days and gave them credit for 48 days served.



Also, Katie Schumacher, 19, was sentenced to a year in prison on each of two counts of possession of controlled substances.

Schumacher was arrested in April as she visited an inmate in the Lincoln County jail. The sheriff’s office had a warrant for her arrest for failing to appear in court to face a misdemeanor theft charge.

She was taken aside, arrested and searched. The search turned up an unspecified number of alprazolam pills, as well as marijuana and an unspecified amount of meth.

Also, according to court records, Schumacher is currently serving time in the Women’s Correctional Center in York County for meth possession in Dawson County that occurred in January 2016.

Birch ordered the two new sentences to be served at the same time, but after the sentence she received in Dawson County. He gave her credit for 76 days served.

It is unclear why Schumacher was not at the women’s correctional center when she was arrested.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/13/2017
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