Wahoo inmate asks court for furlough

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WAHOO, Neb. (WOWT)-- An attempted murder suspect has suffered a family tragedy. His father died last week in hospice care so he asked a judge to be allowed to go to the funeral.

Jeff Erhlich made the rare request Tuesday.

He is awaiting trial on attempted murder charges.

Investigators said he had issues with the police department in August when he drove his semi-tractor into Wahoo and Saunders County sheriff’s vehicles. He totaled both cars.

He then allegedly took aim at another officer nearby. One of them dove behind a tree to get out of the way.

Chief Bruce Ferrell with the Wahoo Police says he’s never seen a suspect make that request in his 35 years in law enforcement.

“We’re sympathetic to Mr. Erhlich’s family member passing away, but we have to look out what’s best for the community,” said Ferrell.

Erhlich told the court in August that he didn’t remember what had happened. In order to get out before the trial, he would have to pay $50,000 and since he can’t come up with the money he asked for a furlough. The judge denied it.

Based on the seriousness of the charges, Judge Marroquin said she could not in good conscience let him go to the funeral and in her words, “It is my duty to protect the public.”