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Court report: Suspect walked away after being tasedTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Christopher Tagwerker

Christopher Tagwerker, accused of trying to run over a sheriff’s deputy before he ran off in his pickup, was tased first, but he got up and walked to his pickup, according to statements Thursday in Lincoln County Court.

Tagwerker, 34, was arrested March 2 after he allegedly fled from a deputy at the Tail-Race – the South Platte River and NPPD canal junction – where he and a woman were parked at midnight Feb. 28.

The deputy said he got the woman out of the pickup and detained her. He said Tagwerker removed a meth pipe from the scene while he was busy with the woman. Tagwerker was combative and tried to run over him as he took off in his pickup, he said.

Tagwerker got away that night. Law officers caught up with him two days later, the sheriff’s office said.

According to the deputy’s report, there was quite a struggle that night.

Citing the report, Prosecutor Angela Franz said Tagwerker ignored three of the deputy’s commands, so the deputy hit him with a taser. Tagwerker walked away, got into his pickup, locked the doors, nearly ran over the deputy's foot, then started backing up, which forced the deputy to get behind his vehicle.

But Defense Attorney Kent Florom said there is no real evidence that Tagwerker tried to assault the officer. He noted his client did not attack the deputy after he was tased, but walked away, casting doubt on any intention to attack.

Tagwerker was initially held in jail on $100,000 bond. After sticking up for his client, Florom asked for bond to be reduced.

Franz objected to anything more than a standard 50% reduction.

Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull reduced bond to $50,000 and then bound the case over to district court.

Tagwerker is charged with tampering with evidence, attempted assault of a police officer and flight to avoid arrest in a motor vehicle. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He remains in jail.


In other high-profile cases Thursday:

• Accused burglar Alexander Fourtner waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Fourtner is accused of several burglaries, and he is also linked to a penguin that was stolen in December from a Christmas display in Cody Park.

• Stephanie Huntsman waived a preliminary hearing on two counts of meth distribution as well as one count of meth possession. Huntsman’s bond was reduced $50,000 for the distribution charges and $7,500 on the possession charge. All three charges were bound over to district court.



Also, Valerie Howell was convicted of attempted possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to 61 days – the time she’s spent in addiction treatment since her arrest.

Howell, 46, pled no contest in a deal that reduced the charge to a misdemeanor.

Defense Attorney Amanda Speichert said Howell completed a 62-day treatment program. Franz agreed to give day-for-day credit on her sentence.

Howell was arrested Sept. 25. She was at the hospital with elevated vital signs from drinking a liquid that tested positive as meth.

Speichert said her client is remorseful.

Turnbull agreed to give her credit for her time in treatment, reserving one day to cover court costs.

He urged Howell to stay sober.

“I am warning you, a second offense coming before me would be bad for you,” he told her.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/10/2017
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