Officer, suspect injured in shootout
SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Officials in northeastern Nebraska say a South Sioux City police officer and a suspect have been injured in a shootout outside a bar and liquor store.
The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Saturday, when police were called to Los Amigos for a man holding a gun. Police say the first officer to arrive at the scene confronted the man, and the two exchanged gunfire. Police Chief Ed Mahon said he could not provide more detail about how the shooting began or who was first to fire.
The officer and suspect were taken to a nearby hospital. Their names and medical conditions have not been released.
The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating the shooting.
Man’s murder conviction upheld
The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder and weapons count convictions of a man serving life in prison for killing his girlfriend.
In his appeal, Lucio Munoz, 67, argued that a prosecutor wrongly commented in opening statements about evidence not found and that his trial attorney was so ineffective that Munoz did not get a fair trial. On Friday, the high court rejected those arguments.
Munoz was found guilty of killing 48-year-old Melissa May. Police say May’s body was found in her apartment Jan. 3, 2017, after officers went to check on her. Authorities say she had been stabbed 37 times, most likely on Dec. 31, 2016.
By the time May’s body was found, Munoz had already left town. He was arrested several days later in Bradley, Illinois.
Boys Town elects new teen mayor
BOYS TOWN — Boys Town youth residents have elected 17-year-old Josh Reed, of Fort Calhoun, as mayor of the village in west Omaha.
A news release from the organization says Reed becomes the 119th mayor of Boys Town. Ja’had Hart, of Erwin, North Carolina, was elected vice mayor.
Reed is a captain of the Boys Town cross-country team and is a member of the track team and student council. Hart competes on the basketball, football, baseball and track teams.
The Rev. Edward Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, conceived the self-government system in 1926 as a tool for the town’s citizens to build character, citizenship and a sense of community. The process was made famous in the 1938 Academy Award-winning movie “Boys Town,” where Mickey Rooney portrayed Whitey Marsh, a tough young boy who turns his life around and becomes mayor of Boys Town.
Man again ruled incompetent for murder trial
DAKOTA CITY — A man has again been ruled incompetent to stand trial on murder and dismemberment charges.
Dakota County District Court records say a judge made that pronouncement Thursday on 28-year-old Andres Surber. He’s pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the November 2016 slaying of 41-year-old Kraig Kubik at Kubik’s home in Emerson. Another man charged, Brayan Galvan-Hernandez, has been sentenced to 50 to 60 years in prison.
In April 2017 a judge found Surber not mentally competent for trial. In October last year the judge found Surber competent, in line with a report submitted by a state psychiatrist. After another review, a state psychiatrist found Surber mentally incompetent, which led to Thursday’s ruling.
Surber has been diagnosed with schizophrenic effectiveness disorder with bipolar symptoms and continually talks out loud to himself during court hearings. Prosecutors say it’s just an act he puts on.
Inmate dies at Tecumseh prison
An 82-year-old man serving a life sentence for second-degree murder died at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution on Saturday evening.
Jerry Hansen died at 5:13 p.m. at the prison. He started his sentence on May 20, 1965, at the age of 28 after his conviction in Saunders County. Hansen’s next parole date would have been in January.
A cause of death has not been determined. As is the case whenever an inmate dies in custody in Nebraska, a grand jury will conduct an investigation.
Nearly 9 tons of medication collected
OMAHA — Federal drug enforcement officials say nearly 9 tons (8.16 metric tons) of medication was collected last month in Nebraska and Iowa as part of a program that allows the public to turn in unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration says more than 5,660 pounds (2,567.36 kilograms) of medication was turned in at 47 sites in Nebraska the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day held April 27. In Iowa, 11,680 pounds (5,298.01 kilograms) of prescription medication was collected.
The DEA says that since the program began in 2010, Nebraska has collected 94,149 pounds (42,705.71 kilograms) of discarded drugs, and Iowa has collected 135,255 pounds (61,351.27 kilograms).
The program is intended to curb prescription drug abuse and overdoses and accidental poisonings.