Crash Could Bring Prison Time

Man faces 10 years in state prison in state prison.

The 29-year-old Murdock man has been incarcerated since running a highway stop sign on February 2nd and T-boning another vehicle.

Andrew L. Zeorian will be sentenced June 23rd. He pled guilty yesterday to leaving the scene of a serious injury accident, a Class III Felony and to driving under the influence, third offense, a Class W Misdemeanor. The pleas were part of an agreement in which a felony DUI count involving an accident with injuries was amended to the misdemeanor.

The agreement also included Zeorian’s acceptance of the “habitual criminal” enhancement on the Class III Felony conviction. Cass County District Court Judge Jeffrey Funke explained that the enhancement means the 5 to 20 year possible sentence is increased to a mandatory minimum of 10 years on the low end with no ‘good time’ credit accruing until Zeorian has served a full 10 years in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services system. (The DUI felony charge that was amended had also carried the habitual criminal enhancement.)

Deputy Cass County Attorney Steve Sunde said Zeorian’s prior two Class IV Felony convictions for theft in 2003 and criminal mischief in 2004, and his Class III Felony burglary conviction in 2005, make up the basis for the habitual criminal enhancement.

On Sunday, February 2nd of this year Zeorian was the driver of a westbound pickup on Highway 1 that ran the stop sign at Highway 50 and struck a northbound taxi service van with two occupants broadside. The two individuals suffered serious upper body injuries.

There was a witness to the accident.

Zeorian left the scene and did not summon help or render aid, said Sunde. Instead he drove to his residence in Murdock and 45 minutes later called Deputy Billy West of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department. Sunde said the deputy responded detected the odor of alcohol on Zeorian and there were open containers in the pickup truck. At the hospital, Zeorian’s blood alcohol content tested at .160, twice the legal limit. He was placed in custody that night and bond was later set at $100,000.

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