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Accused bomb maker sentenced to penitentiaryTell North Platte what you think
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Michael Jara, Sr.

A suspected bomb maker was sentenced Monday to two years in the state penitentiary for terrorizing his wife and child.

Michael Jara, Sr., 44, was previously convicted in Lincoln County District Court of terroristic threats and child abuse that occurred Oct. 28 in a rural home between North Platte and Hershey on the south side of the Platte Valley.

He has been in the county jail since his arrest -- a total of 178 days.

Defense Attorney Martin Troshynski made an extensive appeal for a lighter sentence.

“We’ve been dealing with this case for several months,” Troshynski said. “He has taken responsibility for what he’s done. He’s tried to deal with his drug issues as best he can. His counselor had terrific things to say about him. He’s doing what we hope people in that situation will do.”

Jara stood and addressed Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands, to speak on his own behalf. He apologized for what he’d done, for the harm to his loved ones.

But Deputy County Attorney Tanya Roberts Connick and Rowlands held his criminal history against him – a 2010 conviction for possession, a DUS conviction in 2011, a probation violation in 2012 and a marijuana fine in 2014.

Roberts Connick said even though he was provoked, he had no excuse for threatening his domestic partner.

Rowlands sentenced Jara to 340 days in jail for meth possession, domestic assault and violating a protection order. The 340-day sentence amounts to the time Jara has already served when “good time” is calculated.

Then Rowlands ordered Jara to the state pen for the death threats. 

Sheriff's investigators said Jara assaulted his domestic partner that day, causing debilitating injuries, as well as the woman’s two-year-old daughter, the sheriff’s office said.

The woman told investigators that Jara’s threats were so intense, he threatened to blow up her home with explosives and shoot her and her children.

In the previous plea agreement, the bomb charge -- possession of a destructive device -- was dismissed.

When Jara was arrested, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said at least four bombs were found.

A Nebraska State Patrol Bomb Specialist was called in to remove the bombs. One of the bombs was too unstable to be transported, so the specialist encased the bomb in protective concrete and attempted to disable it. The bomb exploded, but did not damage the house, the sheriff’s office said.

Other bombs were removed, taken to a remote area and detonated. That explosion, which occurred around dusk, could be heard two miles away, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/24/2017
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