By Brent Bonfleur
A small group of friends and family gathered in support of Patrick Peterson, of Gordon, as he faced sentencing at the Sheridan County Court House in relation to an incident last October.
Counsel presented Judge Travis O’Gorman with a joint recommended sentence of four years incarceration and treatment pertaining to charges of felony criminal mischief and attempted unlawful discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, to which Peterson pled no contest. O’Gorman said the facts of the case warranted jail time, but that numerous other factors surrounding the event made things more complicated.
O’Gorman added that the joint recommendation favored the “punishment side too much,” and did not focus enough on treatment.
On count one, Peterson was sentenced to an institution of the jurisdiction of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, not less than 18 months, not more than four years, with credit for one day served. He was also ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution.
On count two, Peterson was sentenced to five years probation (beginning immediately upon discharge) and ordered to submit to PTSD treatment. Peterson was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, which can be waived upon successful completion of his treatment.
Wielding an AR-15 rifle, Peterson opened fire upon a vehicle being driven by Lindsey and Rocky Rawles late at night on October 19, 2013, causing damages to the vehicle and resulting in injuries to one passenger from shattered glass.
Peterson turned himself in at 3 a.m. October 20, 2013 to the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office.
Peterson originally faced four separate felony charges in relation to the shooting, including use of a firearm to commit a felony and attempted second degree murder.
Peterson paid $2,700 in restitution to the victims.
As he left the court room, Peterson’s wife, Krista Holstein, tearfully embraced him.
“He will always be very remorseful for his actions, and I’m very grateful for the community for their support, and he is too,” said Holstein, “The sentencing was extremely appropriate and I hope he gets the help he needs to get him home.”