Justin Valentine was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday in Lincoln County District Court.

It’s been a long time since Valentine, 29, was originally charged, but the law has a long memory.

Two charges were originally filed in 2015 — theft by deception of more than $1,500 from the First National Bank, and possession of a defaced firearm.

Valentine has a long record of charges, but after he was charged, he seemed to be on the road to recovery. He spent more than a year in a treatment program in Omaha, and then he got a job with the Salvation Army there, according to court records.

When he was finally sentenced for the 2015 charges in March 2017, he was ordered to be on probation for 24 months. Then he started missing meetings with his probation officer, failing to appear five times from July-September 2017, according to court records.

He also got in trouble in Douglas County for attempted robbery, and ended up spending 19 months in the state penitentiary.

He was released from the pen in February and arrested again on the 2015 charges.

So far, he has spent 250 days in jail on those charges.

Birch said probation was obviously not option again, then handed down two 18-month sentences. The sentences will be served at the same time.



In other sentencings Monday in district court, David Wehtje was ordered to serve 364 days in the Lincoln County jail for an in-home burglary.

Wehtje has been though drug court, but failed to complete the program. He has more than 100 violations of the drug court rules, Birch said, reading a report of a pre-sentence investigation.

“I don’t see any way you would succeed in probation,” Birch said as he issued the jail sentence.

Wehtje will have to spend 9 months in post-release supervision (probation) after his jail term.

He was given a week to report to jail to start serving the sentence. Birch said he would face felony charges if he fails to report.



Kim Potter, 30, was convicted of stealing two cars in January, valued between $500 and $1,500 each.

He pled no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 200 days in jail.

Potter was initially accused of stealing several vehicles in Lincoln and Dawson County, as well as obstructing police and aiding and abetting shoplifting at Shopko in North Platte.

The other charges were dropped in a plea agreement.

Potter waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation. He has been in jail for 112 days since he was arrested, and received credit for time served.

Police said he arrived in North Platte in a vehicle that was stolen from Milford. The vehicle was recovered and impounded.

Potter has several aliases — Mike Potter, Kim Hatch, Mike Hatch, and most recently, Mike Wazowski, police spokeswoman Beth Kerr said.

A car was reported stolen in North Platte on Monday morning, Jan. 7. Two more stolen cars were reported on Jan. 8 and two more on Jan. 9, according to police reports. All of the thefts were originally linked to Potter, police said.

He has been in jail for 112 days. That time was credited against his sentence.



Andrea Freeman, 26, remains in custody on a $250,000 bond, after she was arrested Feb. 28 and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Freeman and Victor Phillips, both of Illinois, were arrested on I-80. The car Freeman was driving failed to yield to an emergency vehicle, and a state trooper pulled them over. A search of the car turned up the cocaine.

Freeman was initially held on $750,000 bond, but it was reduced in subsequent court hearings.

Phillips could face federal charges, prosecutors said Monday.