Visiting Keith County Judge Edward Steenburg again handed down a tougher sentence than the prosecutor requested.

Steenburg is filling a vacancy in Lincoln County Court while a replacement judge is found for Michael Piccolo, who now sits on the district court bench.

In Steenburg’s court Thursday, defendant Nicholas Reynolds pled no contest to domestic assault.

Reynolds was originally charged with second offense domestic abuse, a felony, but Defense Attorney Bob Lindemeier worked out a deal with the county attorney’s office to reduce it to a misdemeanor in exchange for a no-contest plea.

Reynolds, 38, was arrested Jan. 3. Police said the victim was on foot. She said her husband was chasing her. Police said she had a red mark on her cheek where she said he hit her.

She said they had got into an argument and he hit her in the face.

Deputy County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft asked for an 18-month probation sentence, based on Reynolds’ minimal record – just one case in 2010.

Lindemeier said his client recognizes the seriousness of the charge and knows he was wrong. He said Reynolds had been working in Boston away from home and when he returned, he was under a lot of stress.

“He understands his behavior was not acceptable,” Lindemeier said.

Steenburg agreed, then decided to sentence him to 24 months probation instead of 18. In addition, he added a 90-day jail sentence. The jail time is deferred to the end of probation and can be dropped if Reynolds successfully completes probation, including domestic abuse classes, and has no law violations.

“Everyone gets upset now and then, but there is no excuse for that — none,” Steenburg told Reynolds. And, the judge reminded Reynolds that if he messes up, he will go to jail.

On Jan. 24, Steenburg added a jail sentence to the probation sentence for an 18 year-old, even though the prosecutor did not ask for it.



In other court proceedings, Ryan Baade waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will answer charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatality accident in district court.

Baade, 34, is charged with driving the car involved in a fatal hit and run accident before dawn on Jan. 25 in North Platte, taking the life of David Kohlmeier, 65.

In exchange for the waiver, Defense Attorney Martin Troshynski asked for the standard bond reduction. Hoeft did not object and Steenburg reduced the bond to 10% of $125,000 and bound the case over to district.



Defense Attorney Robert Lindemeier asked Keith County Judge Edward Steenburg for more time so Rylan Andersen’s competency can be evaluated.

According to court records, Andersen, 19, was arrested Jan. 14 and charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child less than 12 years of age and producing child pornography after law officers found sexual images of a young girl on his phone.

Steenburg asked how long it would take. Lindemeier was not sure. With no objection from the county, the case was continued.

Anderson will remain in jail unless he is able to post 10% of a $500,000 bond.