COLUMBUS — A Platte County grand jury has cleared Columbus Police officers of any wrongdoing in the Sept. 8 death of a 39-year-old local man.

The grand jury found there was no criminal conduct among the officers that contributed to the death of Daniel J. Harmon, who suffered a self-inflicted knife wound while being arrested outside a residence in the 1600 block of 40th Avenue.

“We find the death was a suicide,” grand jurors ruled in their written report of the investigation.

Pathologist Erin Linde, who conducted the city man’s autopsy, also concluded the death was the result of a suicide.

The grand jury heard testimony from Linde, four Columbus Police officers and Nebraska State Patrol Investigator Ron Kosiba.

State law requires a grand jury be called when someone dies while in custody or while being arrested.

A grand jury’s job is to determine whether any law enforcement officers violated any law during the arrest or death involved in the incident.

According to information released by Columbus Police in September, Harmon’s death came in the wake of a reported domestic dispute at the residence.

Police said Harmon was threatening to harm himself shortly after officers arrived and, while they were trying to talk him into giving up the weapon, suffered the self-inflicted knife wound.

Officers secured the scene of the 10:20 a.m. incident and turned the investigation of the death over to the Nebraska State Patrol.

Harmon was rushed by ambulance to Columbus Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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