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Woman pleads no contest to holding North Platte man captive

July 10, 2018

One of two people charged with holding a North Platte man captive overnight in April pleaded no contest Monday in Lincoln County District Court to two of five felony counts she had faced in the incident.

Miranda A. Lewis, 25, of North Platte changed her previous pleas of not guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree false imprisonment. Under the terms of a plea agreement, District Judge Donald Rowlands dismissed counts of robbery, terroristic threats and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

Rowlands, who will retire July 31, set Lewis’ sentencing for Aug. 20 before District Judge Richard Birch. Lewis faces possible prison terms of up to 20 years for the felony assault charge and up to three years for the charge of false imprisonment.

Prior to Lewis’ appearance, Rowlands postponed further proceedings in a related case against Kaidyn J. Dieter, 19, of North Platte. Dieter, who has pleaded not guilty to the same five counts Lewis had faced, will next appear before Rowlands on July 23, the judge’s last regular “motion day” before he steps down.

Police have said Lewis and Dieter held the man against his will for nearly two days after an April 11 party at Lewis’ apartment in southeast North Platte. The man told police he was stripped, bound with duct tape, beaten and kept in a closet after Lewis and Dieter accused him of taking Xanax pills and some money, Officer James Hagen said in an arrest affidavit.

Lewis attacked the man with a glass soft-drink bottle and a pool cue in addition to duct-taping his hands and holding him in her closet, Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling told Rowlands after Lewis entered her no-contest pleas.

After finding Lewis guilty and setting her sentencing date, Rowlands agreed to reduce her bail from $50,000 to $10,000. She may be released from the Lincoln County Jail by posting 10 percent of the lower amount.

Earlier Monday, Birch sentenced Robin E. Dennis, 35, of North Platte to four concurrent prison terms totaling up to six years in an Oct. 26, 2017, drug case and a March 6 break-in at the home of a man in southwest North Platte.

The judge ordered Dennis to serve one year in prison for felony possession of methamphetamine in the older case, with credit for 174 days served in jail. In the newer case, Dennis was sentenced to four to six years for felony burglary, one year for felony possession of burglar’s tools and two years for being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon. Birch gave him 124 days’ credit for time served on those three counts.

In other district court action Monday:

» Justin T. Howell, 26, of North Platte was placed on one year’s probation after pleading no contest to a reduced misdemeanor count of child abuse under a plea agreement. He had been charged with felony child abuse after authorities said two children of Howell’s girlfriend had been exposed to illegal drugs in Howell’s presence on April 3. Rowlands also sentenced Howell to time served in jail.

» Kaleb R. Slaymaker, 21, of North Platte received 18 months’ probation after pleading no contest to a reduced felony count of attempted burglary. Deputy County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft said Slaymaker tried to break into a North Platte home on May 28 to steal food but was confronted and thwarted by the homeowner. Rowlands also sentenced Slaymaker to time served in jail.

» Zachary T. Menke, 32, of Grand Island was sentenced to two years in prison for felony third-degree assault on a health care professional on April 16. Rowlands gave Menke credit for 84 days served in jail and ordered him to undergo 18 months of post-release supervision.

» Justin H. Foust, 35, of North Platte pleaded no contest before Rowlands to three of six counts after accepting a plea agreement in a trio of cases. Foust had pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest on May 26 and two felony counts of second-offense violation of a protection order on March 19 and May 26. Prosecutors dismissed three other counts in the cases. Rowlands set sentencing for Aug. 20 before Birch.

» Timothy P. Jones, 30, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Birch in two separate cases. He has been charged with felony assault on a confined person on June 21 in the county jail, where Jones was being held on separate charges of felony possession of methamphetamine and being a habitual criminal stemming from a Feb. 16 incident.

» Marcos T. Escarsega, 33, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Birch to one felony count of third-degree domestic assault, second offense, in an incident on Sept. 30, 2017. Harling said her office is considering a possible plea agreement for Escarsega, who has three additional pending cases involving drug or assault charges dating to 2016.

» Chantel M. Searle, 26, of North Platte pleaded no contest before Birch to felony counts of possession of 20 to 28 grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and being a felon in possession of a firearm, both in a May 11 incident. Birch set sentencing for Aug. 20.

» Dennis C. Teall III, 23, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Birch to one count of felony child abuse in an incident on May 30.

» Timothy D. Johnson, 27, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Rowlands to second-offense driving under the influence and felony counts of possession of Xanax and possession of Adderall, all in connection with a June 3 incident.

» Matthew A.C. Knight, 42, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Rowlands to one misdemeanor count of third-degree domestic assault and felony counts of terroristic threats and using a deadly weapon to commit a felony, all in connection with a June 4 incident.

» James Dempsey, 30, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Rowlands to felony counts of second-degree forgery and attempted theft by deception.

» Shelbi L. Knox, 24, of North Platte pleaded not guilty before Rowlands to one count of felony child abuse in a May 23 incident.

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