COLUMBUS — A 62-year-old Columbus man pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and an aggravated driving under the influence charge stemming from an Aug. 22 incident.
After entering his pleas, James Chollar Jr. was scheduled for a Dec. 4 jury trial in Platte County District Court.
The weapon charge is a Class 1B felony, punishable by 20 years to life in prison. The DUI, aggravated by a high blood alcohol content reading, is a Class I misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Chollar is accused of firing a handgun at a city residence before racing down U.S. Highway 30 toward Duncan while following a family member who was reporting their location to law enforcement.
According to Platte County Sheriff’s Sgt. Roger Wemhoff’s probable cause arrest statement, Chollar’s silver S10 pickup “would not pull over” before heading back toward Columbus and stopping at the junction of highways 30 and 81 south of the Loup River bridge.
“I observed a handgun on the front seat of the vehicle, which I removed,” Wemhoff wrote in his statement.
The handgun was a .22-caliber, nine-shot revolver with eight spent shells and one full round, the sergeant said.
Chollar agreed to a preliminary breath test, which showed a blood alcohol content reading of 0.170, more than twice the legal limit for driving.