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State v. Louis

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

October 6, 2015

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Jared A. St. Louis, appellant.

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION

Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: John A. Colborn, Judge.

Sean M. Conway, of Dornan, Lustgarten & Troia, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and George R. Love for appellee.

Moore, Chief Judge, and Inbody and Bishop, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

Moore, Chief Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Jared A. St. Louis appeals from his plea-based convictions for leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury and driving under the influence (DUI) in the district court for Lancaster County. On appeal, he asserts that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, resulting in the entry of no contest pleas that were not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent, and that his sentence was excessive. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

The State filed an information in the district court on November 14, 2014, charging St. Louis with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury in violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-697 (Cum. Supp. 2014), a Class III felony, and with DUI causing serious bodily injury in violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-6, 198 (Cum. Supp. 2014), a Class IIIA felony.

On March 3, 2015, St. Louis pled no contest to an amended information, which reduced the second count to a charge of DUI, in violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-6, 196 (Reissue 2010), a Class W misdemeanor. During St. Louis' arraignment on the amended information, the prosecutor read the amended charges and informed St. Louis of the possible penalties. St. Louis indicated that he understood the charges contained in the amended information and the possible penalties and informed the district court that he wished to plead no contest to both counts. The court then explained and St. Louis stated that he understood his constitutional rights, the consequences of a plea agreement, the nature of the charges, and the possible penalties that could be imposed.

According to the factual basis provided by the prosecutor, on October 1, 2014 at approximately 7:12 a.m., police officers were dispatched to a hit and run accident that had occurred at an intersection in Lincoln, Nebraska. The initial investigation showed that a pickup truck struck an 11-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle in the crosswalk at the intersection. The driver, later identified as St. Louis, fled the scene without stopping to determine the identity of the individual he struck, offering assistance, or providing contact information. The victim suffered serious bodily injury and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Officers later learned that the victim had suffered a subdural hemorrhage, fractured ribs, a punctured lung, a fractured pelvis, and multiple abrasions and contusions. The victim required extended hospitalization for his injuries.

A witness at the scene told police that he had observed the front of the pickup strike the victim, who was thrown into the air and landed on a median. He estimated that the pickup had accelerated through a red traffic signal between 40 and 50 m.p.h.

Another witness, who was driving in the same direction as the victim, heard "a loud vehicle accelerating" and observed the pickup strike the victim. The witness followed the pickup to a residence, later determined to be St. Louis' residence, and observed the driver exit the pickup on ...


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