(Neb)-Ex-Trooper Flick Pleads Not Guilty, Trial Set For June 4
L-R: Joe Stecher, Tim Flick, David Domina photo - Kerri Rempp/Chadron Record
RUSHVILLE - Former Nebraska state trooper Tim Flick entered pleas of Not Guilty in Sheridan County Court on Thursday to a pair of misdemeanors stemming from a 2016 fatal line-of-duty traffic accident that helped trigger investigations that rocked the State Patrol
County Judge James Worden of Scottsbluff set June 4th for a jury trial on charges of motor-vehicle homicide and making a false statement under oath as well as the infraction of careless driving. A telephonic pre-trial conference was scheduled for May 8th at 8:30.
The small courtroom in Rushville was packed to standing room with friends, family, and fellow law enforcement officers - all wearing small blue lapel ribbons provided as a show of support by the Nebraska State Troopers Association, the union representing the agency's rank-and-file officers.
Troopers from as far away as at least Grand Island attended the arraignment along with city police officers and sheriff's deputies from at least 3 counties.
The charges stem from Flick's October 2016 high-speed chase of an intoxicated motorist in Sheridan County that ended with the fleeing driver, 32-year old Pine Ridge Reservation resident Antoine LeDeaux, crashing near Gordon. LeDeaux died in the accident.
Flick can be heard on video from his dashboard camera saying he used a Tactical Vehicle Intervention, a move meant to bump a fleeing vehicle and have it spin out, but his formal report said LeDeaux actually struck the cruiser before Flick could institute the maneuver.
The patrol's top accident reconstructionist later concluded Flick had completed the tactic and that a coverup had been instituted by his superiors.
The incident was one of two from the Panhandle that led to a review of State Patrol internal investigations that resulted in Flick, agency Superintendent Colonel Brad Rice, and several top officers being fired, reassigned, demoted, or retiring at different times last year.
A Sheridan County grand jury that looked into the crash concluded in December 2016 that no wrong-doing had occurred and no charges should be filed, but former U-S Attorney Joe Stecher was named as a special county prosecutor last fall to review the case.
Stecher, now in private practice in Harrison in the extreme northwest corner of the state, concluded that testimony Flick gave to the grand jury was false and that he was responsible for causing the accident that took LeDeaux's life.
The Troopers Association maintains Flick's report was accurate and that he was unjustly fired as a scapegoat. Union spokesman Tera Johnson earlier this winter organized a GoFundMe page that raised over $11,000 to help the Flick family cover expenses
Flick, represented by Omaha attorney David Domina, was hired as a part-time deputy by Dawes County Sheriff Karl Dailey shortly after his dismissal by the State Patrol. Dailey also hired as a full-time deputy Kevin Waugh, who resigned as a state trooper sergeant after also being cited in the state's investigation of the Patrol's internal investigations.
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