UPDATE: The jury in the case of Trent Esch, 36 of Broken Bow, reached a unanimous verdict of guilty on both counts - felony criminal mischief, and use of a deadly weapon to commit felony criminal mischief. The jury was handed the case for deliberation at 12:07 p.m. today, and returned with the verdict at 2:31 p.m. Sentencing for Esch was set for March 21 at 9:30 a.m. Stay tuned for more details to come.
The jury trail of 36-year-old Trent Esch of Broken Bow, began Monday in Custer County District Court. The first half of the day was devoted to jury selection, and right after lunch the State began presenting their case.
Esch is accused of shooting an unoccupied Custer County Sheriff patrol vehicle March 18, 2012, parked in front of the home of Deputy Sheriff Dan Spanel. He is being tried on charges of criminal mischief, and use of a weapon to commit felony criminal mischief.
The prosecution presented a number of witnesses and testimony Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, and rested their case at noon Tuesday. After the lunch break, the defense began presenting their case. After a number of delays, the jury was sent home for the day at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The trial will reconvene Wednesday at 9 a.m.
The defense is expected to conclude its presentation Wednesday morning, which will be followed by closing arguments before the case is handed to the jury for deliberation. We will bring you the verdict as soon as it has been announced.