Meth addiction at the root of crimes. The public defender and the judge both agreed a drug problem caused 36-year-old Jerry S. Justice of Plattsmouth to appear in court several times over the past 15 years in Cass, Douglas and Lancaster Counties.
According to the Cassgram Court documents show Justice is currently serving a 20-month to five-year sentence in the state penitentiary at Tecumseh for possession of methamphetamine. That sentencing occurred four months ago in Lancaster County.
When that sentence is completed, Justice will begin serving another 20 month to five year sentence arising out of his latest Cass County case in which he pled guilty to two felony theft counts. It was part of a plea agreement in which a felony meth possession charge was dismissed and the prosecution agreed to not pursue “habitual criminal” notations on either conviction. This week Cass County District Court Judge Jeffrey Funke sentenced Justice to 20-month to five-year sentences on each count and allowed them to be served concurrently.
Last November, Justice was driving a vehicle stolen from Plattsmouth, a Nissan Altima, and when that vehicle ran out of gas, stole another vehicle in western Cass County, a Ford pickup, said Deputy Cass County Attorney Rick Fedde. In both cases, the keys were left in the vehicles.
Attorney Mike Ziskey of the alternate public defender’s office said Justice has struggled with the addiction most of his life. Funke said it was “clear” the addiction has affected Justice and his actions.
---New meth-related cases involving other individuals are now working their way through the Cass County Court system. According to court scheduling documents, there are four methamphetamine possession cases on the preliminary hearing docket for this Thursday (9/26).