Photo: Nebraska City police search a residence in a burglary investigation

NEBRASKA CITY – District Judge Julie Smith sentenced Nicholas Reed, 39, of Nebraska City to five to 12 years in state prison for burglary, theft and possession.

Public Defender Michael Ziskey asked for a lengthy probation term noting the non-violent nature of the offenses.

Ziskey: “His highest need is to address his substance abuse addiction.”

Otoe County Attorney Jennifer Panko-Rahe referenced a burglary charge. A police investigation revealed that coins, cash and jewelry were taken from a man’s house in Nebraska City soon after he had died.

She said Reed benefited from a plea agreement because a habitual criminal charge, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years, was dropped.

Reed told the court that he wants a chance at probation to deal with substance abuse disorder. He said prison has not helped him in the past.

Judge Smith noted that Reed did successfully complete parole after his 2013 sentence.

She advised him to take advantage of programming offered by the department of corrections.

“Your criminal history is such, I don’t think you will find a judge that will give you probation. If you want to stay out of prison, you’ll have to stay out of trouble.”



The judge said Reed will be eligible for parole in 2.5 years and eligible for release in six years.

The judge overruled Reed's motion to withdraw his plea and noted that he is scheduled for arraignment on a possession charge later in the day.