Nebraska judge upheld on hate crime case dismissal

By: AP
By: AP

Gering, NE (AP) - Scotts Bluff County prosecutors have lost an appeal of a county judge's dismissal of a hate crime case.

District Court Judge Leo Dobrovolny on Monday upheld the ruling by County Court Judge James Worden.

In February Worden ended a trial and dismissed the case against 18-year-old Alysha Schwartzkopf, of Gering. Schwartzkopf was accused of scrawling a racial epithet in October on the car windows of a Gering High School senior who is biracial. She was charged with unauthorized application of graffiti, with a felony enhancement of committing a hate crime.

Worden agreed with the defense that state graffiti statutes don't apply to vehicles. Dobrovolny agreed with Worden's ruling.

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner says he hasn't decided yet whether to take the case to the state Court of Appeals.

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