Bond released for jailed Elgin man

The Honorable James Kube saw a short criminal court agenda when he presided from the bench of the Antelope County District Court last week.

Rowdy Burke, 52, of Elgin appeared without counsel for a hearing on the status of his bond. 

Burke was given a deferred jail sentence by Kube last month, and subsequently failed to show up at the Antelope County Jail on April 28 as ordered for his conviction of driving under suspension. He was arrested in Lincoln on April 29. 

Antelope County Attorney Joe Smith, who had initiated the hearing “declined to go forward” on a request for bond forfeiture. 

Kube released the bond to Burke’s employer, who had posted it, and remanded Burke to the custody of Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore to continue serving his jail sentence.

In answer to questions from the judge regarding his failure to report to jail, Burke said, “I am going through rough times … (I) wanted to find a place for my kids.”


Joaquin Santos Escheverria, 28 of Brenham, Texas, (in custody at ACJ) appeared for an evidentiary hearing on a plea in abatement filed on his behalf by Antelope County public defender Pat Carney. 

Escheverria is charged with a Class 1C felony, possession of more than 2 ounces of methamphetamine, with intent to deliver. 

Carney argued the charge was erroneous and there was insufficient evidence presented in Antelope County Court at a March preliminary hearing to bind the case over because the defendant was simply traveling through Nebraska, from Texas to South Dakota, when he was stopped by law enforcement and his vehicle subsequently searched, resulting in the alleged discovery of about 289 grams of methamphetamine. Carney said his client had no ties to Antelope County.

“Nebraska can’t criminalize activity that was to take place in another state,” the attorney said. 

“There was no intent to do anything in Nebraska except travel through… I realize it’s a little novel.”

Kube asked if Carney had any case law to support his argument. Carney did not. However, Smith cited case law to support the charge filed. 

Kube asked Carney if he wanted more time. Carney declined.

Kube took the case under advisement, saying he would notify the parties of his decision.

Escheverria was remanded to Moore’s custody.


Two of the men convicted of attempted burglary for break-ins at two Neligh Main Street businesses in 2022 were back in the courtroom Wednesday.

Trinity Graham, 20, of Neligh faced Kube to show cause on a motion for contempt due to delinquent restitution payments. Although he had made some payments, Graham had missed several months and had not paid since his previous show-cause hearing in May. Kube asked why.

“I got hired at Taco Bell but my co-defendant works there so (I) didn’t go,” he said.

Kube scolded the defendant and asked why he hadn’t called the county attorney to ask.

“There is a difference between making payments and making no effort,” Smith said.

Kube continued the hearing until June 26 and warned Graham he could go to jail.

“Get a job,” he told Graham. “We want to see payments…If you really want a job you can get a job. (There are) a lot of openings.”


Harley Snyder, 21, of Lincoln also appeared for a show-cause hearing regarding his tardiness in paying restitution. However, he had paid a total of about $1,900, including recent payments and Smith moved to dismiss a Jan. 31 motion to revoke probation. 

Kube sustained and continued the hearing to Aug. 28, urging Snyder to continue making payments. Snyder and Graham, along with other co-defendants were ordered to pay $5,686.56 restitution, jointly and severally, to Neligh Vape Shoppe and Craig Smith, owner of the building that housed the businesses.