Friday, March 31, 2017

Nebraska: Felony charges thrown out in exchange for Tommy Leetch's 'no contest' plea to Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty after 21 DOGS SEIZED

NEBRAKSA -- Tommy Leetch Sr. (aka Thomas Leetch) pleaded no contest to five misdemeanors, three of them for animal cruelty, on Wednesday as part of a plea agreement in Merrick County Court.

The animal cruelty charges involved two dogs and a black pony. The dogs were a brindle and white female adult American pit bull terrier and a black female terrier mix puppy.

Leetch, 35, also pleaded no contest to one charge each of theft by taking of items valued at $500 or less and failure to appear. He pleaded guilty to false reporting.

The crimes occurred at 156 Beck Road.

Michelle Von Ohlen, who is Leetch’s girlfriend, pleaded no contest to two counts of animal cruelty involving the same two dogs.

All of the animal cruelty charges involving both defendants are Class 1 misdemeanors. False reporting is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Theft by taking is a Class 2 misdemeanor, and failure to appear is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Judge Stephen Twiss ordered presentence investigations for both Leetch and Von Ohlen.

Leetch will be sentenced in the five separate cases against him at 10 a.m. July 12.

Von Ohlen, 34, will be sentenced in her one case at 10:15 a.m. July 19. Another case against Von Ohlen was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Attorney James Wagoner, who represents both defendants, asked that they be sentenced at different times. Leetch and Von Ohlen have children, who will have to be taken care of if jail time is assessed.

These two need to stop breeding!

Felony charges against Leetch were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Leetch was originally charged with 21 cases of animal cruelty, two of them felonies, in one case alone. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty in that case.

As part of sentencing, Leetch will be ordered not to own or live with animals for five years.

The case was prosecuted by Merrick County Attorney Lynelle Homolka.

All of the animals involved in the cases have been turned over to the Central Nebraska Humane Society.

In one of the cases, Leetch will be required to pay restitution to Jessica Schleichardt for stolen firewood.

As part of the plea agreement, Homolka said, Merrick County will not file charges in three incidents reported to her office in February and March of this year. Those accusations involved fictitious plates, the theft of utility services, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In the theft of utility services, Leetch will pay restitution.

Watching the proceedings were six people, five of whom live near 156 Beck Road.


Tracie Pfeifle - Apparently animal cruelty is tolerated in some places. Good work by those who investigated and reported on this issue. The judicial system has failed these animals and any that these individuals may own in the future.

Miranda Roode - This is sad. These people are going to get away with it. Now I know where to commit crime.

Evette Mumford -  dropping the felonies and three major charges... unreal... :( Seems like there is no accountability in Merrick county.

Bernie Smith - What is really sad is that there are hard working law abiding people in this county. We are all in shock at the "slap on the hand" of habitual crime activities of a few people.

Karl Skinner - Who will be the voice of the animals? The article does not even detail the alleged cruelty.

Dawn Haymart - How are the children treated? Should they be allowed to keep them?

Patricia Merrill - You gotta be kidding! 😡 shame on the court for this! Those poor animals deserved better than this! 😢💙😡😡😡😡


(The Independent - March 31, 2017)