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State v. Blimling

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

March 27, 2018

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Seth Ehren Blimling, appellant.

          1. Criminal Law: Courts: Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. A trial court's denial of a motion to transfer a pending criminal proceeding to the juvenile court is reviewed for an abuse of discretion.

         2. Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of discretion occurs when a trial court's decision is based upon reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action is clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and evidence.

         3. Jurisdiction: Appeal and Error. Before reaching the legal issues presented for review, it is the duty of an appellate court to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter before it.

         4. Courts: Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Final Orders: Appeal and Error. An order granting or denying transfer of a case from county or district court to juvenile court shall be considered a final order for the purposes of appeal.

         5. Courts: Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Proof. After considering all the evidence and reasons presented by both parties, the case shall be transferred to juvenile court unless a sound basis exists for retaining the case in county court or district court. The burden of proving a sound basis for retention lies with the State.

         6. Courts: Juvenile Courts: Jurisdiction: Evidence. When a court's basis for retaining jurisdiction over a juvenile is supported by appropriate evidence, it cannot be said that the court abused its discretion in refusing to transfer the case to the juvenile court.

          Appeal from the District Court for Burt County: John E. Samson, Judge. Affirmed.

          Timothy S. Noerrlinger for appellant.

         [25 Neb.App. 694] Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Siobhan E. Duffy for appellee.

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

          Arterburn, Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         After giving a statement to police in which he admitted to intentionally hitting a classmate with his car, Seth Ehren Blinding was charged in the district court for Burt County with attempted first degree murder, assault in the second degree, and failing to render aid. Blinding was 15 years old at the time of the incident. The district court denied Blimling's motion to transfer his case to juvenile court. Blinding appeals from the district court's decision here. Upon our review, we do not find that the district court abused its discretion in denying Blimling's motion to transfer his case to juvenile court. Accordingly, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         In February 2017, Blinding was 15 years old and a sophomore at Tekamah-Herman High School in Tekamah, Nebraska. On the morning of February 23, Blinding observed S.S., who was his "[e]x-best friend, " and another classmate driving toward S.S.' house. Blinding followed them in his vehicle, and when they pulled into S.S.' driveway, Blinding parked in front of a nearby house. S.S. started to approach Blimling's vehicle, and Blinding "floored it as fast as it [could] go and . . . drove towards [S.S.]" Blinding hit S.S. with his car, causing S.S.' head to hit and crack the windshield of the vehicle and causing S.S. to fall to the ground. Blinding left the scene of the accident and drove to a church parking lot, where he called law enforcement and reported what he had done.

         In his statement to law enforcement, Blinding stated that it had "felt good" to hit S.S. with his car. Blinding also stated that when he saw S.S. get up after being hit, he thought, [25 Neb.App. 695] "'Darn' him." Blimling admitted that he had thought about hurting S.S. the night before this incident and stated that when he had seen S.S. driving home that morning, he thought, '"Hey there's [S.S., ] why not.'" He stated, "I also followed him for a bit too. I hated him." Blimling told law enforcement that he was upset with S.S. because S.S. had been harassing him using social media and had broken a golf club that belonged to Blimling's great-grandfather. In text messages to another classmate about this incident, Blimling stated that he "wanted him hurt bad" and that he "wanted him dead."

         Another classmate of Blimling's observed the incident and provided a statement to law enforcement. He reported that Blimling "took off and hit [S.S.], he didn't stop or nothing[, ] he kept on driving." Another student reported a somewhat similar incident involving Blimling. The student reported that one day as he was walking home, Blimling, who was driving a car, slowly followed the student for a distance. When the student ...


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