April 24, 2014

Lincoln man charged in the death of his wife Easter Sunday

A heated argument Easter Sunday evening apparently led to murder in Lincoln.

Lincoln Police Chief Jim Perschong says 41-year-old Kent Burklund has been charged with second degree murder in the death of his wife, Bettina Burklund, also 41.

Perschong says officers went to the couple’s home Monday after co-workers of Bettina became worried, because she didn’t show for work. Officers found Bettina’s body, but couldn’t find Kent.

Lancaster County deputies, acting on a tip that Kent Burklund enjoyed fishing, arrested Burklund at Conestoga Lake near Lincoln.

The cause of death has not been disclosed by police.

Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this article.

Inmate who drove van in fatal Lincoln collision pleads no contest to manslaughter

The prison inmate who drove a state van into a Lincoln intersection killing a woman has pleaded no contest to a charge of manslaughter.

Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly charged 36-year-old Jeremy Dobbe with manslaughter in connection with the traffic crash that killed Joyce Meeks of Lincoln.

Several Lincoln residents called the evening of June 25th to report the erratic driving of a state van on Van Dorn Street, operating by the Department of Correctional Services. Moments later the van crossed the center line and struck the mini-van Meeks was driving nearly head-on. Meeks died at the scene. Dobbe was treated at Bryan Medical Center.

Meeks was 47; a nursing assistant in Lincoln.

The Lancaster County Attorney’s office states that blood tests performed on a sample taken from Dobbe turned up no evidence of alcohol or synthetic marijuana in his blood stream.

Dobbe was driving the state van to pick up fellow work-release inmates, part of a state inmate driving program Nebraska had used since 1985 when city buses aren’t running. State officials have discontinued the program in wake of the fatal accident.

Dobbe, from Schuyler, was an inmate at the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln. He was serving five to seven years in prison on charges of possession of meth with intent to deliver, terroristic threats and criminal mischief from Colfax and Butler Counties. He had previous driving violations, including driving under the influence.

Surprise truck inspection Wednesday

The Nebraska State Patrol conducted a surprise truck inspection at 203rd and West Maple Road Wednesday. A total of 77 commercial trucks were stopped and inspected. Inspectors found more than 400 violations and 38 vehicles were taken off the road. Those vehicles were not safe on the road because of bad brakes, bald tires or other safety issues.

It wasn’t just faulty trucks that inspectors were looking for. Four citations were issued for not having a commercial license or no license at all. The Omaha Police Department assisted in the special enforcement.

New scam involves “phishing” texts to your cell phone

Nebraskans, particularly in the Siouxland area, are being warned about bogus text messages that claim to be from Wells Fargo Bank, directing people to go to a phony website and enter their account information.

Angie Kaipust, spokeswoman for the bank in Sioux City, says it’s a “phishing” scam.

Kaipust says, “What these fraudsters do is they send a message to a wide audience, including customers and non-customers, and they’re hoping someone’s going to click on the link and give their personal financial information.”

She says there’s a course of action you should follow: “If you get a suspicious message, whether it’s a text message, a voice message or email and they’re asking for your personal financial information, delete it and don’t respond to it.”

After you delete the message, she says it’s a good idea to contact your bank and ensure your account hasn’t been compromised.

“Cardholders are protected by our zero liability protection,” she says. “That means you’re not liable for any unauthorized transactions that are made when you promptly report it to us.”

The bank already has that information on its customers, she reminds, so they wouldn’t be asking for it.


Nikko Jenkins found guilty of killing four in Omaha after release from prison

An Omaha man is found guilty of four murders last summer and of weapons charges. It was just last week that Nikko Jenkins wanted to enter a plea of no contest to those crimes but Douglas County District Judge Peter Batallion refused that plea stating. Jenkins on Friday filed a hand written document stating he was ready to plead guilty however that isn’t exactly what happened in court today.

Judge Batallion did accept Jenkins’ no contest plea on all 12 charges. Judge Batallion then declared him guilty for the murders of Juan Uribe-Pena, Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger. He was also found guilty on eight gun charges.

At one point Venita Glasgow, the mother of murder victim Curtis Bradford, ran from the courtroom sobbing when prosecutors detailed that murder.

Jenkins previous court hearings have been described as a circus and today was no different. At times Jenkins interrupted, spoke in the language of what he called a serpent god and broke out in laughter. At one point Jenkins claimed he had no knowledge of the murders and objected to the evidence presented by prosecutors. At that point Judge Batallion asked the prosecutor if he had any problem with accepting Jenkins’ no contest plea. The prosecutor agreed and Judge Batallion found him guilty.

Jenkins faces the death penalty and he will be sentenced by a three judge panel later this year.