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Four men sentenced in district court

Four men were sentenced last month in the Fillmore County District Court.  Two defendants were sent to prison, while the other two were sent to jail.  A fifth man accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced this Tuesday.
• John C. Garaas, 42, formerly of Tecumseh, Grand Island, was sentenced to two three-year terms of incarceration with the Nebraska Department of Corrections; and one two-year term with the Nebraska Department of Corrections by Fillmore County District Court Judge Vicky Johnson last month.  The sentences are to be served concurrently and also include 18 months of post-release supervision.  Garaas was also ordered to pay $319 in court costs; $10 offender assessment; $30 probation enrollment fee; $630 probation fees; $90 chemical-testing fees and undergo DNA testing.  Garaas was given credit for two days served.
These sentences culminate a plea agreement involving the theft of stolen items at a rural Milligan farmstead last summer. In another plea agreement, Garaas was sentenced to two one-year consecutive sentences with the Nebraska Department of Corrections.  The defendant was also ordered to pay $478.28 in court costs and was given credit for 17 days served.
The second set of charges included another count of Theft by unlawful taking and being a habitual criminal.
Garaas faces several more serious charges in Hall County and has a trial coming up there.
Prior to sentencing, Judge Johnson noted the defendant's lengthy criminal record, which includes 14 felonies and a pre-sentence probation department report that indicates he is a very high risk to re-offend.  "Any leniency that you would have gotten from me was already given with the plea agreement," Johnson said.
• Daniel L. Graham, 39, incarcerated in Saline County, was sentenced last month to 30 months with the Nebraska Department of Corrections for failing to follow the terms of his probation.  Graham was ordered to pay $22.45 in court costs and was given credit for 55 days.
Prior to sentencing, Graham told the court he is an addict and doesn't want to change that.  The defendant was also facing Felony flight to avoid arrest charges that were filed in July.  Graham failed probation in at least six different categories ranging from failing to report to failing to establish a place of residency.
• William Gregory Aldaz, 33, Geneva, was sentenced to 180 days in the Fillmore County Jail for the Class 3A felony charge of Violate Sex Offender's Act. Aldaz was also ordered to pay $162.50 in court costs and was given credit for 33 days served.  With this sentence, Judge Johnson added 12 months of post-release supervision.  With this, $60 chemical-testing fees and $420 in probation fees were added.
Aldaz was also sentenced to 90 days in the Fillmore County Jail for the Class 4 felony charge of Possession of a controlled substance.  This sentence is to be served concurrently.  Aldaz was also ordered to pay $155 in court costs and was given credit for 33 days served.  This sentenced also carries a 12-month post-release supervision clause with it.
The charges stem from non-registration from April 2016 and September 2017, and October 2016 to September 2017.  Aldaz had methamphetamine on his person when he was getting booked into the Fillmore County Jail on September 8, 2017.
• Dustan A. Hallows, 24, incarcerated in Kearney, was sentenced to four, concurrent 300 days in the Fillmore County Jail for his involvement in a four-county burglary crime spree.  Hallows was given credit for 254 days served.  He was also ordered to pay $268 in court costs, a $1,000 fine, undergo DNA testing and pay a total of $2,550 in restitution to four victims.
Prior to sentencing, it was noted that the defendant still has charges pending in other counties.  It was also noted that Hallows cooperated with authorities on the crimes he helped commit and has been an exemplary prisoner while serving time in Fillmore County.  William T. Dreessen, 39, currently incarcerated with the Nebraska Department of Corrections, was a co-defendant in these cases.
"He absolutely has been a good prisoner," Fillmore County Sheriff Bill Burgess said.
Hallows also read a heartfelt letter of apology to the burglary victims and thanked his wife and family for their support.  The defendant has no previous felonies.
After a brief pause in the proceedings, Judge Johnson noted she did not have an appropriate place to send the defendant.
"I really think you need to go to prison...but, I don't know what good that will do," Johnson said.  "I had an order ready to send you to prison...I think prison, right now, only creates worse criminals."
• Bryan D. Kucko, 51, Geneva, accepted a written plea agreement from the Fillmore County Attorney's Office and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor 3rd degree assault.  He was sentenced on Tuesday, October 9, at 10:30 a.m.