Prisoner pleads no contest in assault of deputy during escape

A prisoner who attacked a deputy and escaped last year while being taken to a court hearing has pleaded no contest.

Eric G. Scott, 38, will be sentenced in November, said Saunders County Attorney Steven Twohig. Scott pleaded to charges of escape, assault on an officer, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and two theft charges.

All but one of the theft charges are felonies, and Scott faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison, Twohig said. A second charge of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony has been dropped.

The escape occurred about 1 p.m. Sept. 20 on U.S. Highway 77 just north of Ceresco, in Saunders County, while Scott was being driven to Fremont by a Dodge County deputy.

He was headed to a preliminary hearing on charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child, third-degree sexual assault of a child, incest and intentional child abuse.

Authorities said Scott freed himself from his handcuffs and pulled his leg-iron chain around the throat of the deputy who was driving, drawing his body against the headrest.

The deputy was forced to pull onto a gravel road. He threw his phone, sidearm and rifle from the car, according to an affidavit filed in Saunders County.

“The defendant forced the deputy out of the vehicle and then handcuffed the deputy,” the affidavit said. “The defendant took possession of the deputy’s vehicle, leaving the deputy on the county road in rural Saunders County.”

After Scott was caught in Council Bluffs the next day, he was returned to Lincoln, where he is serving a sentence of two to four years for a fifth-offense driving under the influence conviction.

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