Several high profile cases were heard in Antelope County District Court on Wednesday morning.
Judge Mark Johnson remanded Daphne Hansen to the custody of the Antelope County Sheriff to begin her jail sentence.
Hansen, 63, who appeared with her attorney Matt Munderloh, was escorted from the courtroom by Sheriff Bob Moore. The Antelope County Sheriff's Department then transported Hansen to the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York.
Hansen's appeal was reversed by the Nebraska Supreme Court in November, and, on Dec. 23, 2014, District Judge James Kube signed judgement to the spread the mandate, which means the high court order should be followed. Click here to read the Supreme Court's decision.
Hansen, formerly of Neligh, was convicted in May 2013 of arson in the second degree, a class III felony; conspiracy to commit arson, a class III felony; and consummation of a felony, a class IV felony. She was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years in prison.
Harlan Brandt, 63, of Oakdale, an Antelope County supervisor charged with felony theft, appeared in court with his attorney Ron Temple of Norfolk for a pretrial conference. Madison County Attorney Joe Smith is serving as a special prosecutor in the case. Temple told Judge Johnson that the state had made a plea offer, but there is still one condition that needs to be negotiated before Brandt is ready to change his plea. The continuance was granted and Brandt's pretrial conference was set for March 25, 2015, at which time Temple indicated a change of plea will likely be made. His $5,000 personal recognizance bond was continued. On a previous court appearance, Brandt entered a not guilty plea to theft by deception, a class IV felony, due to the items totaling more than $500. He is accused of charging gas to the county and the theft of county property. The allegations took place between June 2011 and April 2014. According to Smith, the initial investigation began with the Antelope County Sheriff’s office in December 2013 and then was turned over to the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Attorney General’s office.
One of the alleged cattle thieves, Errik Dummitt, 26, of Bellevue, appeared in district court for a pretrial conference with his court-appointed attorney Ron Temple. The attorney made a motion to withdraw from the case and the motion was granted. "I don't think I've been represented adequately in this case," Dummitt said of Temple as he requested another court-appointed attorney. The judge appointed Tom Hockabout of Norfolk to the case and continued his pretrial conference to March 25. Dummitt previously pleaded not guilty to theft by unlawful taking (Class III felony); and criminal attempt-theft by unlawful taking (Class IV felony). He has been released from jail on 10 percent of a $20,000 bond.