Guilty pleas on four felonies.
23-year-old Michael S. Uptain of Plattsmouth will be sentenced March 16th. Uptain pled guilty to three of four counts in one case and to one of two counts in another case as part of a plea agreement.
Uptain had been arrested October 30th for stealing 70 methadone tablets, a prescription drug, from Ed Smalley of Plattsmouth at Smalley’s residence nine days earlier. Uptain was originally charged with possession of a controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance by fraudulent means for that incident. Uptain pled guilty to the possession charge, a Class IV Felony.
(Smalley is the individual who lost part of both legs in December of 2007 when he was struck by a pickup truck equipped with a snowplow southwest of Plattsmouth.)
The day after Uptain’s arrest, Uptain grabbed a female jail deputy in the Cass County Jail in an escape attempt. Cass County Chief Deputy County Attorney Colin Palm said Uptain overpowered her as they were passing through a doorway and at one point, maneuvered himself behind her and grabbed her around the throat and head. He then pulled her to a desk, took some keys, and with the keys pressed against her head, took her down some stairs, said Palm.
The jailer told Palm that Uptain made several statements that indicated his intent to escape. Another jail deputy came upon the incident and helped subdue Uptain. (Palm told Cassgram the incident was out of view of the cameras in the jail.)
As a result of that incident, Uptain pled guilty to 3rd degree assault of a peace officer (Class IIIA Felony), strangulation (Class IV) and attempted escape (Class IV). A Class II Felony of being a confined person committing an offense against another person was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Each count in the conviction carries up to five years in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.