Friday, April 5, 2013

Around The Nation

Western Nebraska Man To Stand Trial On Anti-Gay Hate Crime Charges
SIDNEY, NE -- Prosecutors are charging a 28 year old with Sidney man with committing a hate crime. According to Cheyenne County Deputy Attorney Jonathan Stellar, Nathan Pohl was initially charged with third-degree assault charges after an incident last month outside a local bar.
Stellar said that his office upgraded those charges with enhanced 'hate-crime' specifications making the crime a Class IV felony after police investigators learned that Pohl attacked his victim based on the victim's sexual orientation.
Court documents revealed that Sidney police were summoned to the bar shortly after midnight March 2 and responding officers observed several people outside the bar’s rear entrance. Witnesses pointed out Pohl to officers, who noted that they found standing outside with no shirt and blood visible on his face. Edward Hecker told officers that Pohl allegedly had struck him [Heckler] after seeing Heckler leaving the bar holding his boyfriend's hands.
Other witnesses told police investigators that Pohl had launched into a tirade of anti-gay slurs prior to his striking Heckler. One witness told police he believed that Pohl had assaulted Hecker “because Nathan stated that he doesn’t like gays,” the arrest affidavit said.
The enhanced charges were leveled against Pohl on March 19 and certified after Pohl's appearance in Cheyenne County Court this past Monday and the charges were bound over to Cheyenne County District Court for trial.
Court documents show that Pohl is currently out of jail after having posted bond.