Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation presents
a question of law, which an appellate court reviews
independently of the lower court's determination.
Statutory language is to be given its plain and ordinary
meaning, and an appellate court will not resort to
interpretation to ascertain the meaning of statutory words
which are plain, direct, and unambiguous.
from the District Court for Madison County: Mark A. Johnson,
Chelsey R. Hartner, Chief Deputy Madison County Public
Defender, for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Sarah E. Marfisi
Chief Judge, and Inbody and Bishop, Judges.
L. Sack appeals from his plea-based conviction in the
district court for Madison County for theft by shoplifting,
third offense. Sack challenges the district court's use
of two prior convictions for enhancement purposes. Finding no
error, we affirm.
Neb.App. 722] BACKGROUND
2016, Sack was charged by information with theft by
shoplifting ($500 or less), third offense, a Class IV felony.
The offense occurred on March 5, 2016, after the effective
date of 2015 Neb. Laws, L.B. 605, which changed the grading
of theft. Sack filed a plea in abatement, arguing that his
two prior convictions occurred before L.B. 605 modified the
maximum value of theft from $200 to $500, see Neb. Rev. Stat.
§ 28-518(4) (Cum. Supp. 2014 & Reissue 2016), and
therefore could not be used to enhance the current offense.
The district court overruled the plea in abatement, and
thereafter, Sack entered a plea of no contest to the charge
pursuant to a plea agreement in which the parties agreed that
if the court found that Sack had two prior convictions which
were suitable for enhancement, the State would recommend a
sentence of 1 year.
August 9, 2016, an enhancement and sentencing hearing was
held. The State offered into evidence two prior convictions
of theft by shoplifting of goods worth less than $200 in 2009
and 2013. Sack again challenged the use of these prior
convictions. The district court found the prior convictions
to be suitable for enhancement under § 28-518(6)
(Reissue 2016) and found Sack guilty of theft by shoplifting,
third offense, a Class IV felony. Sack was sentenced to
imprisonment for a determinate term of 1 year with the
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
assigns that the district court erred in enhancing his