Cozad man sentenced to probation following conviction for Resisting Arrest

    A Dawson County District Court case of Resisting Arrest, that wound it’s way through the court system for more than two years, came to closure Monday with the sentencing.   Aaron Gaudreault was arrested by officers of the Cozad Police Department, January 5, 2020, on suspicion of Resisting Arrest and Trespassing following a disturbance at a Cozad apartment where he was not welcome.

    According to a police report, Gaudreault had been told many times that he was not to be at that apartment by the residents there.   Gaudreault allegedly was at that apartment and was told to leave.   He then went back and barged into the apartment unwelcome.  Gaudreault was later located at a house.  Officers attempted to take the 53-year-old man into custody for trespassing but he pulled away and was then pulled to the ground by an officer.  Trial testimony indicated Gaudreault continued to pull away and kicked at officers after being cuffed.  The report stated it took two officers several minutes to get him into handcuffs.   Another court record indicated Gaudreault then had to be forcibly brought to the Dawson County Sheriff’s vehicle for transport to the Dawson County Jail and was described as “verbally combative” while being transported.   

    A Dawson County District Court jury trial held in November 2020 found Gaudreault guilty of felony resisting arrest.  The felony charge was the result of  two prior convictions of resisting arrest.   He was later sentenced to 48 months of Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision probation.  Gaudreault appealed his conviction to the Nebraska Court of Appeals alleging an error in a jury instructions and that the evidence admitted at trial was insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict.  The Court of Appeals ruled that there was sufficient evidence presented at trial for  conviction of resisting arrest but reversed the conviction because of an error in a jury instruction and remanded the case back to District Court for a new trial.

    A new jury trial was then set for June 2022 but a plea agreement was reached and Gaudreault pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, down from the original felony charge of resisting arrest.  The trespassing charge had been dismissed.    

    Sentencing was held Monday, August 1st in Dawson County District Court.   Deputy Dawson County Attorney Matt Neher asked for a “straight sentence” of jail time.  Defense Attorney Brian Copley asked for a term of probation, noting that Gaudreault had no arrests in the time the case had been pending and that his client had stopped drinking.  During his opportunity to address the Court, Gaudreault said “I made a mistake that day and I’m sorry.”

    District Judge Jim Doyle said that Gaudreault had been drinking and when police came to talk to him, Gaudreault put up a fight with the officers despite their efforts to deescalate him.  Judge Doyle continued “you were just out of control.”   Judge Doyle said he would go against the recommendation and resentenced him to 48 months of the Supervised Substance Abuse Supervision.


Source: Nebraska Regional News

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