Defendant Late a Second Time For Sentencing, Receives Probation

BEATRICE – A Beatrice woman who showed up late a second time, for her Gage County District Court sentencing, is being given a chance on probation.

Whitney Cooper was sentenced Wednesday to consecutive 12-month probation terms, on convictions of attempted possession of methamphetamine and negligent child abuse.

Scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m., Cooper arrived in court after 10:30.  Just prior to that, District Judge Rick Schreiner had issued a bench warrant for her arrest.  But, the judge opted to drop the warrant, proceeding with sentencing.

Schreiner noted that Cooper arrived at court in the company of a male with a known criminal history.

:08                  “probation or parole

A presentence report indicated Cooper was a suitable candidate for probation, and the prosecuting attorney did not object to that recommendation.  Cooper told the judge she wished to be placed on probation.

Defense attorney Scott Gropp took issue with one part of the presentence report which spoke of the investigation involving a confidential informant, focusing on an east Beatrice apartment.

:37                  “were using”

Judge Schreiner said Cooper needs some structure to take her down a different path, than the one she is on.

:28                  “sober, and responsible”

Part of the probation sentence restricts Cooper from associating with persons with a criminal past.  The sentence also includes 10 hours of community service per week, unless Cooper is employed.

The probation also includes four 15-day jail terms, which can be waived if Cooper is doing well, during her probation.  Cooper was arrested during an undercover investigation in August of last year.  The probe focused on an apartment in the 18-hundred block of Scott Street, leased by Cooper.

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