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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • State claims "alibi defense" in allegations of enticing a minor

  • Otoe County District Judge Jeffrey Funke rejected a prosecutors claim of an "alibi defense" in a case where a Lincoln man is charged with sending improper text messages to a minor.

    Under Nebraska law, a defendant must inform prosecutors if an alibi defense will be used, and Otoe County Attorney said those rules should apply to the case.
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  • Otoe County District Judge Jeffrey Funke rejected a prosecutors claim of an "alibi defense" in a case where a Lincoln man is charged with sending improper text messages to a minor.
    Under Nebraska law, a defendant must inform prosecutors if an alibi defense will be used, and Otoe County Attorney said those rules should apply to the case.
    At a hearing the day before trial was scheduled, District Judge Jeffrey Funke overruled the state's motion to treat the defense as an “alibi defense.”
    Otoe County Attorney David Partsch said an alibi is a claim that a person was not in certain place. In this case, he said, the defendant claims that he was not in the same location as the cell phone when text messages were sent.
    The state contends that the calls to a minor consist of illegally enticing a minor under the age of 16.
    The state also moved to prohibit testimony regarding the alleged victim’s phone calls to other adult males.
    Partsch said the defense might use the information to improperly attack the victim’s character.
    Otoe County Public Defender Michael Ziskey said the evidence would not be used to attack anyone’s character, but would show that the text messages may have come from someone other than the defendant.
    He said Jerilee Luckinbill, 32, had maintained from the very beginning that he was away from his phone when the text messages were sent.
    Judge Funke said he would not prohibit the evidence at that time, but would evaluate it within the context of the trial.
    Funke agreed to Partsch’s request that the other text messages would not be brought up in opening statements at trial.
    A plea agreement was reached prior to trial on Wednesday.
    Luckinbill entered a plea to contributing to the delinquency of a minor on Aug. 6.
    He was sentenced to 157 days in jail, with credit for 157 days already served.
    Partsch also agreed to write a letter to the U.S. Attorneys office regarding the sentence.

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