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COLUMBUS — A 62-year-old Columbus man pleaded no contest to charges related to an incident in which he's accused of firing a handgun at a local residence before driving drunk along U.S. Highway 30 toward Duncan.

James Chollar Jr. pleaded in Platte County District Court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated second-offense driving under the influence stemming from the Aug. 22 incident. Judge Robert Steinke scheduled him for sentencing Jan. 19.

The weapon charge is a Class 1D felony, punishable by up to 50 years imprisonment and a mandatory minimum of five years behind bars. The second-offense DUI, aggravated by a high blood alcohol content, is a Class I misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Chollar was previously convicted of DUI in 2011 in Butler County.

According to Platte County Sheriff’s Sgt. Roger Wemhoff’s probable cause arrest statement, Chollar was stopped at the junction of highways 30 and 81 south of the Loup River bridge following the August incident and a .22-caliber, nine-shot revolver with eight spent shells and one full round was removed from his pickup.

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.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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