Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court denied the district court’s order denying Defendant’s second plea in bar asserting a double jeopardy violation. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of attempted first degree sexual assault. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded for a new trial. On remand, the State filed an amended information again charging Defendant with attempted first degree sexual assault, alleging, for the first time, that the victim was mentally or physically incapable of consenting. The district court denied Defendant’s plea in bar. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, concluding that capacity to consent could not be relitigated as to the attempted first degree sexual assault charge. On remand, the State filed a second amended information alleging only that Defendant attempted to subject the victim to penile penetration without her consent. After Defendant filed a motion in limine seeking to prohibit testimony concerning capacity to consent and the court overruled the motion, Defendant filed a second plea in bar. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the second amended information did not place Defendant at risk of double jeopardy, and therefore, the district court was correct in denying his plea in bar. View "State v. Lavalleur" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. The court held (1) the search warrant that authorized police to search for and seize any and all firearms in Defendant’s residence was constitutional because it was sufficiently particular to enable police to know what times they were authorized to search for and seize; and (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting a recording of a telephone conversation that Defendant made to his ex-girlfriend from jail because the risk of unfair prejudice did not substantially outweigh the probative value of those statements. View "State v. Baker" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of several counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and sentencing him accordingly. The court held (1) the district court did not err in allowing into evidence hearsay statements of the child victim based on the medical purpose exception to the hearsay rule, and any error in admitting statements under the excited utterance exception was harmless; (2) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing Defendant’s sentences; and (4) Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel were either not sufficiently presented for review or not able to be reviewed on the record. View "State v. Mora" on Justia Law

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In these consolidated appeals, the Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the district court denying Defendants’ motions for absolute discharge. Gerard Bridgeford and Judith Bridgeford were charged with several drug-related crimes. Both defendants eventually filed separate motions for absolute discharge alleging that their statutory and constitutional speedy trial rights had been violated. The district court overruled the motions, reasoning that, under the plain language of Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-1207(4)(b), Defendants permanently waived their statutory right to a speedy trial when they requested a continuance that resulted in a trial date within the statutory six-month period’s being moved to a date outside of the statutory six-month period. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendants both permanently waived their statutory right to a speedy trial; and (2) there was no merit to Defendants’ assertions that the district court erred in failing to grant their motions for absolute discharge on the ground that their constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. View "State v. Bridgeford" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court affirming the county court’s order denying Appellant’s motion for absolute discharge, holding that thee court was unable to review the trial court’s determination as to whether charges should be dismissed on speedy trial grounds. Citing State v. Williams, 761 N.W.2d 514 (Neb. 2009), the Supreme Court ruled that the county court, as part of its ruling on Appellant’s motion for absolute discharge, was required to set forth the calculation of whether the speedy trial clock, as extended by statutorily excludable periods, had expired prior to the commencement of trial and that the trial court in this case did not. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the county court with directions to enter specific findings pursuant to the court’s directive in Williams. View "State v. Lintz" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals determining that the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant to two years’ imprisonment and twelve months’ postrelease supervision connected to Defendant’s no contest plea to a charge of enticement by electronic communication device. On appeal, Defendant claimed that the district court had imposed an excessive sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed after clarifying certain standards relating to a sentencing decision under Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-2204.02, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that there were substantial and compelling reasons why Defendant could not effectively and safely be supervised in the community and when it therefore imposed a sentence of imprisonment rather than probation. View "State v. Dyer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s successive motion for postconviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing and without requiring a response from the State. The district court concluded that the motion (1) was time-barred under Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4), (2) impermissibly sought to raise grounds for relief that either had been litigated in Appellant’s first postconviction motion or were available at the time of his first motion, and (3) was frivolous. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in (1) denying Appellant’s successive motion for postconviction relief without notice and hearing, (2) denying Appellant’s motion to alter or amend the judgment and denying his motion to amend the successive postconviction motion, and (3) denying Appellant’s motion for appointment of postconviction counsel. View "State v. Amaya" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the district court’s order that denied his request to modify his probation order. In 2015, Appellant was convicted of proximately causing serious bodily injury to another while driving under the influence of alcohol. The district court placed Appellant on probation for a period of sixty months. In 2016, Appellant filed a motion to modify or clarify the probation order. The court concluded that it lacked authority to modify the terms of Appellant’s probation and overruled the motion. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellant’s untimely challenge to its sentencing order through a motion to modify or clarify the probation order. View "State v. Irish" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of four counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and one count of child abuse and the sentences imposed in connection with the convictions. Defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for a mandatory minimum term of fifteen years and a maximum term of twenty years for each of the four sexual assault convictions, two of which were ordered to be served consecutively. The court held (1) Defendant failed to properly preserve his facial challenge to the statutory classification scheme under Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319.01; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by ordering two of the mandatory minimum sentences to run consecutively. View "State v. Stone" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s admission of evidence obtained during a search of Defendant’s room. The district court overruled Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized from Defendant's bedroom following his consent to a search. The court found that the search warrant for the common areas of a house and a roommate’s bedroom was invalid but that Defendant voluntarily consented to the search of his bedroom and that the search was sufficiently attenuated from the invalid warrant. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the district court correctly determined that Defendant’s consent was voluntary and that it was not obtained by exploitation of the prior illegality of the search warrant. View "State v. Bray" on Justia Law