Statements made by state trooper aren’t admissible at trial, judge says; prosecutors appeal ruling

December 20, 2018

Statements made by and evidence filed against a former Nebraska State Patrol trooper accused of felony theft are inadmissible at trial, a Sarpy County judge has ruled.

Christopher Kober, 45, of Bellevue is charged with the theft of six cases of ammunition in 2017, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The ruling by District Judge Nathan Cox is being appealed by the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office.

In his ruling, Cox agreed with the defense’s contention that statements by Kober, made in the course of an internal investigation, could not be used because the trooper had been told they would not be used against him.

According to court documents, Kober’s wife called Bellevue police in March and pointed out “numerous ammunition cans” that were in their basement. Kober, who joined the patrol in 1994, later returned all six cases of ammunition.

“The internal investigation had become so intertwined with the criminal investigation that the court is unable to identify what, if any, evidence is not tainted by the infusion of immune statements and other evidence,” Cox said.

Kober did take ammunition from the patrol’s facility, his attorney, Clarence Mock, has said, but that doesn’t mean he stole it.

“The Nebraska State Patrol does not have any practices, policies or procedures related to withdrawal of ammunition from the State Patrol facility in Omaha,” Mock said in an interview last year. “It was the regular practice of State Patrol officers to take ammunition from that location.”

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