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A Monroe man earlier this week was sentenced to lengthy probation terms on two separate cases relating to reckless driving and weapons charges.

Eric M. Behrens, 38, in the first case file was sentenced by Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke to spend three years of intensive supervised probation for being a prohibited person in possession of a deadly weapon, a Class III felony; and operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, a Class IV felony.

Under state law, the defendant could have faced up to four years in prison on the first count and two on the second.

In the second case file, Behrens was also sentenced to three years of intensive supervised probation for being a prohibited person in possession of a deadly weapon and for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, a Class IV felony. Steinke also revoked Behren’s license for the next two years.

Behrens, in the first case, was arrested in September 2018 after a deputy with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 100 block of Zeigler Street in Monroe in reference to the defendant having an active warrant out for his arrest.

After approaching the defendant and placing him under arrest, a search of the defendant yielded a baggy containing methamphetamine, court records show. In addition, brass knuckles were found on Behrens, a convicted felon. The defendant was charged with four felonies, which were dropped to two through amended information.

Later the same year, in early December, a deputy with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office on routine patrol observed a Ford F-150 pickup with expired plates and proceeded to attempt a traffic stop, according to warrantless arrest affidavit. After turning on his overhead lights and stopping the vehicle, the deputy proceeded to approach the defendant’s vehicle. That was when the defendant took off and led the deputy on a chase, court records show.

During the pursuit, the truck stopped and one to two subjects exited the vehicle before it drove off again. The defendant later lost control and rolled the pickup onto its driver’s side, court record show. Behrens then exited the vehicle and ran southbound before tripping and falling into the snow. During the car chase, court records show Behrens ran through five stop signs and reached speeds in excess of 70 mph while traveling on roads partially or fully covered in snow and ice.

As Behrens was on his knees, court records show that he pulled an approximately 5-inch knife from a sheath that was attached to his waistband. A Taser was then deployed on Behrens but was ineffective. The defendant was then subdued and placed under arrest.

An officer with the Nebraska State Patrol drove to Monroe to question the subjects that exited the vehicle. It was allegedly determined that a 16-year-old passenger was the person let out of the vehicle during the chase.

The defendant was charged with 10 offenses before the information was amended prior to sentencing.

In other District Court news:

*Jorge Santos Jr., of Columbus, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 months of post-release supervision after being found guilty of being in possession of methamphetamine, and one year in prison for obstructing a police officer, a Class I misdemeanor. The offenses are being run concurrently.

*Sarah E. Kamm, of Columbus, was sentenced to spend 120 days in Platte County Jail after being found guilty of third-degree assault, a Class I misdemeanor. Kamm was credited with 33 days of time served.

*Miguel Pedraza-Leon, of Norfolk, was sentenced to two years of probation after being found guilty of being in possession of methamphetamine.

*Bobbie I. Kleinberg, of Columbus, was sentenced to 120 days in Plate County Jail and 12 months of post-release supervision after being found guilty of being in possession of methamphetamine. The defendant was credited with 85 days of time served.

*Taylor C. Krzycki, of Columbus, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 months of post-release supervision after being found guilty of being in possession of meth, and one year in prison for third-degree domestic assault. In another case file, the defendant was found guilty of intentionally violating a narcotics drug law by forgery, a Class IV felony; and sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 months of post-release supervision. The sentencings encompassing two case files will run concurrently. The defendant still has one active case open in Platte County.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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