Court bench NDN

MADISON — A 23-year-old Plainview man was sentenced for third-degree assault here in Madison County District Court on Thursday. 

Hans Berg’s charges come from an incident in which he allegedly threatened Wyatt Walker, 24, of Norfolk and his family. Walker had paid Emma Fuhrman, 20, of Norfolk for sexual intercourse with a check.

Both Walker and Fuhrman have been sentenced previously on charges relating to the case.

When Fuhrman tried to cash the check, there were not enough funds in the account, according to a court document.

Berg said Fuhrman, a friend of his, came to him after she learned the check was bad.

“She was crying, she was obviously upset,” Berg said. “I asked her if she wanted me to pay for it. She didn’t want my money. She didn’t want anyone else’s money. She asked me if I would go talk to him.”

Berg and the woman went to the man’s apartment. There, Berg told the man he now owed double the original amount, according to a court document.

Berg also told the man that he knew convicts who would beat him within an inch of his life and that the man’s family and friends would be burned to the ground if he did not pay, according to the document. Berg also threatened to go to the police and report the victim for rape if he didn’t pay, according to the document.

Berg admits that he confronted the man, but the threats he made were empty, he said.

“I did confront him,” he said. “I was just trying to scare him so he would pay her.”

Berg was originally charged with terroristic threats but later pleaded no contest to the third-degree assault charge as part of an agreement.

Brad Montag, Berg’s attorney, said there was no actual violence involved, and that a fine would be an appropriate sentence.

“I think he’s learned his lesson,” Montag said. “I don’t believe he is ever going to do anything like this again.”

Berg said he regrets his actions but has learned from them.

“I do realize I shouldn’t have gotten involved. I do regret getting involved,” he said. “I’ve learned my lesson; I will not be doing this again.”

Judge James Kube sentenced Berg to a $500 fine and costs.

Walker had previously been sentenced to a $500 fine for soliciting prostitution. Fuhrman was previously sentenced to a $500 fine for attempted third-degree assault, according to court records.

Others were sentenced Thursday for the following:

Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person

— Robert Brown, 59, 220 W. Norfolk Ave., 12 to 18 months in the Nebraska Department of Corrections with credit for 72 days served, costs.

Possession of a controlled substance

— John Dieter, 29, Madison, attempted possession of a controlled substance, burglary, theft, obstruction of government operations, 8 to 12 years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections with credit for 24 days served, costs.

Attempted strangulation

— Giovani Adame, 23, 911 S. 15th St., attempted child abuse, 14 days in jail, 30 months’ probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 21 served, to be served before the end of probation.

In other news

Rats can drive cars. Not your car or my car. (Their legs really wouldn’t reach the pedals, after all.) Rather, researchers have created tiny cars just for their lab rats and certain experiments and have taught the little critters how to drive.