November 26, 2014

Tennesse men charged with wounding another while in Nebraska

Two Tennessee men have been charged in the shooting and wounding a companion during a stop in Kearney.

The two, arrested Sunday morning, are being held in the Buffalo County jail.

Twenty-four-year-old Evan Swenson is charged with attempted 2nd degree homicide and use of a weapon to carry out that attempt, while his accomplice, 22-year-old Ashley Dominguez, is charged with being an accessory to attempted 1st degree homicide.

They are accused of shooting and wounding 31-year-old Gerard Vinett, identified as a companion of the two.

Both suspects were arrested early Sunday morning in Broken Bow after officers of the Kearney Police Department, in cooperation with Broken Bow Police, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nebraska State Patrol search a Kearney hotel.

Swenson is accused of shooting Vinett early Saturday morning. Vinett was taken to an Omaha hospital. His condition has not been released.

By Brent Wiethorn, KHAS

Psychedelic mushroom grow operation uncovered in Ralston

A loud music complaint late last week sent Ralston police to an apartment building around 2 o’clock Friday morning. Deputy Chief Mark Leonardo says officers responding to the call talked to two people inside the apartment and noticed drugs in plain view.

Officers were able to obtain a search warrant and returned to the apartment. Inside they found what appeared to be a psychedelic mushroom growing operation. Officers found mason jars containing mushrooms, tubs containing mushrooms in various stages of growth and grow lights.

A 29 year old man and a 29 year old woman were taken into custody and face several drug charges.

Suspect in custody following weekend shooting in Kearney

A man was taken to an Omaha hospital Saturday following an early morning shooting in south Kearney.

According to Kearney Police Captain Mike Kirkwood, officers were called to the 300 block of 2nd Avenue shortly before 4:30 Saturday morning in response to a report of a suspicious person in the area.

When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot at least twice. The victim as taken to CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and later airlifted to a hospital in Omaha where his name and condition have not been released.

The shooting suspect, 24-year-old Evan Swenson, and a suspected accompliace, 22-year-old Ashley Dominguez, fled the scene after the shooting.

The two were said to be driving a Silver Honda CR-V with Tennessee license plates, which was abandoned and later recovered by Kearney police, leading authorities to believe both suspects were still in the Kearney area.

Information was later posted on the Kearney Police Department’s Facebook page, indicating Swensen had been arrested early Sunday morning in Broken Bow.

It’s believed the shooting suspect and the victim knew each other. Police have not yet released any further information regarding the case.

By Brent Wiethorn, KXPN/KCIS/KHAS, Kearney/Hastings


Former foster father sentenced to 95 years for abusing children

A former foster father from Hooper has been sentenced to nearly 100 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child in his home.

49-year-old Michael Rice had initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to no contest in exchange for prosecutors dropping nine other sex-related charges.

An investigation of Rice began in 2013, after allegations arose that he assaulting a young girl. Prosecutors contend the assaults began in 1998. Rice and his former wife cared for a number of foster children in their home. No charges have been filed against his former wife.

Prosecutor Oliver Glass read statements from the victims, including one in which the victim stated, “The damage caused is immeasurable.” A victim said, “He ruined my life.”

Connie Green, KHUB, contributed to this story.

Two injured in Omaha home invasion

Six west-central Omaha residents are recovering from a home invasion overnight. Omaha Police Department Public Information Officer Michael Pecha says officers arrived around 6 am to find those inside woke up in the middle of the night to find three masked men had kicked down their door.

Officer Pecha says all the residents were tied up and the suspects ransacked the house. They loaded items, including guns, into a van belonging to one of the residents and then took off.

One of the victims was struck on the head and was taken to a hospital for treatment and another victim was assaulted.  Officer Pecha says the residents did not know the suspects and the investigation continues.