The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

State agrees to lesser charges in drug and child abuse case


A man who exposed at least one child to illegal drugs entered into a plea agreement with the state earlier this month.

On Sept. 6 Justin Warren, 30, of Kimball pled no contest to possession of methamphetamine, a class IV felony and child abuse, a class IIA felony. The court accepted the pleas and ordered sentencing for October 15 at 9 a.m.

According to the court's factual basis for accepting Warren's plea, law enforcement served a warrant to the residence of Justin Warren and Shirley Brewer in March of this year. Officials found marijuana and more than 12 grams of methamphetamine in Warren's bedroom during the search. State lab tests confirmed the identity of these drugs. The court determined that Warren knowingly and intentionally possessed the methamphetamine.

Multiple children shared this residence with Warren and Brewer. One of the children, a seven year old, was confirmed to have marijuana and methamphetamine in his or her system. Levels of methamphetamine detected in the child's hair indicated that he or she had been exposed to the drug on a chronic basis in the three months prior to testing. No other possible sources of exposure to the drug were found during the investigation, except in the residence shared with Warren.

All children in the home were removed by law enforcement and placed in the custody of Health and Human Services. All submitted hair samples for drug testing.

Warren entered into a plea agreement with the state, pleading no contest to possession of methamphetamine and child abuse in place of earlier charges which held a heftier sentence. Warren was previously charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and habitual criminality, according to the agreement. These charges come with an enhanced mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 60.

The court accepted Warren's pleas of no contest to the lesser charges in exchange for the previous charges. The new charges carry maximum sentences of five years and $5,000 fines each.


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