Counting down the Top 10 stories from KOTANOW.com of 2013 - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Counting down the Top 10 stories from KOTANOW.com of 2013 (Complete)

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It has been quite a year here in KOTA Territory, and now we are counting down the top ten most popular pages from our website at www.kotanow.com

Number 10

On November 5th, Scottsbluff Police were dispatched to the Route 26 Mart after witnesses saw a man punch and kick his nine month pregnant girlfriend.

23-year-old Brittin Short fled to Hibbett Sports, where police apprehended him. However, while he was being taken into custody, he allegedly head butted one of the officers.

He is being charged with 3rd degree domestic assault of a pregnant woman, and 3rd degree assault on a police officer.

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for January 16th, and is set to go to trial in the February jury term.

Number 9

Story number nine involves a couple from Stockton, California.

Back in March, police arrested 32-year-old Daniel Junior Bravo and 27-year-old Leticia Desman on charges of distribution of methamphetamine.

"Based on what ATF is telling us and what California is telling us, the man involved is a pretty substantial player in the methamphetamine business," said WING Drug Task Force Commander Dana Korrell.
 
An informant with the WING Drug Task Force purchased 4.9 ounces of meth from Bravo and Desman at the Scottsbluff Shari's. They were busted shortly after at a nearby motel.

A trail in U.S. District Court is slated to begin in January.

Number 8

A fatal accident shakes the small town of Lingle, Wyoming.

On November 3, 2013, a driver struck 68-year-old Keith Beers, who was walking across Main Street. First responders found Beers dead at the scene.

"Keith was a long time resident of Lingle and known by many people and understandable the community is very shocked by this," said Goshen County Sheriff Captain Bryan Moorehouse. "The community is also very shocked by the fact that someone would actually leave the scene and not stop and render aide."
 
This fatal accident is still being investigated... And the culprit still remains at large.

Number 7

A 25-year-old Sidney man is charged with manufacturing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and child abuse.

Levi Hallett was arrested in August after police received complaints that many young females had sent nude photos of themselves to Hallett.

Further investigations revealed that Hallett had sexually explicit images of his girlfriends  2-year-old. He said they had talked about introducing the same child into the sexual relationship.

A status hearing for Hallett has been scheduled for January 3rd in Cheyenne County District Court. If convicted on all eleven charges he faces, he would face a *minimum* of twenty years of prison.

Number 6

Story number 6 stems from a plea deal from 2012's top story.

Rose Siefke was the lone person charged in connection of the death of a Panhandle man.

The day before she was slated to stand trial for being an accessory to a felony (helping then boyfriend Andy Gonzales dispose of the body of Josh Bullock) she struck a plea deal to avoid going to trial.

She received a sentence of 20 to 40 months in prison ,which outraged Josh Bullock's family.
 
"It's obvious she helped cover this up," says cousin Tristian Jackson "And her silence, in my opinion, made her an accomplice to murder, attempted murder. Why weren't those charges brought?"

Siefke is up for parole in April.


Hitting the halfway point of our top ten list....

 
A bizarre case out of Cheyenne County lands a Potter man and a Dalton mother in jail.

55-year-old Jason Frei was charged for inappropriately touching the 7-year-old daughter of girlfriend Kristie Keenan.

Court documents say that instead of turning him into police, Keenan tried to extort $20,000 from Frei.

Earlier this month, Frei pleaded guilty to amended charges of negligent child abuse and attempted witness tampering.

Keenan is still facing theft-by- extortion charges in Cheyenne County District Court.

Number 4

Story number four has been in the works for the better part of 2013. Back in February, 34 - year -old Brian Ross received four years of probation for selling meth out of a Scottsbluff restaurant.

In a plea deal, Ross began working with the state to make more meth related arrests.

"The use of C.I.'s is a necessary way for law enforcement to infiltrate these drug rings," explained Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner. "And I think we've pretty much taken out this one ring that Mr. Ross was familiar with. And that's really the only way to deal with that."

However in the midst of one of the trials, Ross went rogue and bought a gram of methamphetamine and landed himself back in jail.
 
"You know, this methamphetamine thing is a serious thing. And it just goes to show you how devastating this whole drug is," added Warner- following Ross' arrest.

He was arrested on a variety of new charges, and just this month was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance, willful reckless driving, and obstruction.

Sentencing has been set for January 15th, and Ross is also facing a new charge of trying to bribe a juror.

Number 3

Story number three came to fruition after a pair of newlyweds decided to consummate their marriage in public.

Back in July, Gering police were dispatched to Oregon Trail Park after receiving reports that a couple was having sex.

Approximately 100 yards away and in plain sight was the Gering Swimming Pool, which still had numerous children in the pool area.

The officer exited the vehicle and had to tell 31-year-old Miaya Ramirez and 23-year-old Saint Ramirez to stop having sex not once - but twice.

The newlyweds were sentenced to a 30 day honeymoon in the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center, after pleading guilty to an indecent exposure charge.

Number 2

An early January accident.

High speeds.
Alcohol.
Texting.

A recipe for disaster that ultimately claimed the lives of two Scottsbluff teens.

On January 9th, Ethan Kaufman was driving Hallie Anderson, Alexis Wheeler, Tyler Hill, Stetson Allen and James Burford.

They had just crossed the Wyoming border, when Kaufman crashed his pickup.
Anderson and Wheeler were killed. Hill and Allen were seriously injured.

In September, Kaufman pled no contest to all four charges that he faced.

Earlier this month, an emotional sentencing hearing was held in Goshen County, and a judge sentenced Kaufman to spend the next 27 to 50 years in prison.

Number 1

And our number one story of 2013 comes from the grand jury indictment of Dustin Chauncey - who is charged in the 2008 murder of Juliette Geurts.

"It's a piece of mind to know that maybe finally, she will seem some justice," says Geurts' Aunt Monica Hall.

On July 11th, 2008, 2-year-old Juliette Geurts was found beaten to death in her crib.

To this day... Nobody has been convicted of the murder.

However a lot has changed since last years candlelight vigil.
 
"The community came together for the grand jury petition last year, and we're overwhelmed with support from Scottsbluff/ Gering residents."

With Chauncey's trial just a few more months away, Juliette's Aunt Monica hall is hoping for closure on a senseless death that has consumed her.

"We definitely have a lot more hope that Juliette will see some justice for what happened to her. Because it's been a long five years waiting for something to happen."

Dustin Chauncey's trial has been delayed numerous times this year... And is currently scheduled for March, 31 2014.

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