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Auburn man pleads no contest in crash that killed 20-year-old Lincoln woman near Panama
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Auburn man pleads no contest in crash that killed 20-year-old Lincoln woman near Panama

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A 34-year-old man has pleaded no contest to motor vehicle homicide and drug charges in connection to a head-on crash near Panama that killed a 20-year-old Lincoln woman in February. 


Jeffrey Woutzke

Jeffrey Woutzke, of Auburn, could get up to seven years in prison at his January sentencing for the Feb. 15 collision that killed Morgan Rodgers.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said a search of Woutzke's Jeep turned up 3.6 grams of methamphetamine. 

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A Crash Reconstruction Team investigated and found that Woutzke had been driving south on Nebraska 43 when he entered the northbound lane and collided with an oncoming Ford Focus that Rodgers was driving just north of the Pella Road intersection.

Rodgers, a certified nursing assistant, had been heading home from work at the Gold Crest Retirement Home in Adams at the time of the crash.

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Woutzke pleaded no contest to two counts of possession of methamphetamine for the drugs found that day and when he was arrested on the charges in April.

In August, he was sentenced to two to six years for terroristic threats and use of a deadly weapon and is serving the sentence in Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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