Life increasingly busy inside County Courthouse

The Richardson County Courthouse in Falls City has been a busy place recently – some 30 citizens appeared before either Judges Curtis Machman or Daniel Bryan on criminal charges ranging from littering to felony assault. Most had been there before – and most will be back (or are expected to be).

And others are coming. 

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, a traffic stop on a 1999 Chevy Cavalier with no taillights turned into a pot bust when RC Deputy Sheriff Clinton Stonebarger arrested Connor R. Shullaw, 19, of Auburn, for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana. The teen was booked into RC Jail, left on $150 bond and now awaits a Jan. 26 first appearance in County Court. 

A 25-year-old Falls City man is in far hotter water after police allege he threatened a couple with a corn knife before resisting arrest last month. Jefrey A. Morley is expected to be arraigned in Distric Court Jan. 13 on two Classs IV Felony counts of making terroristic threats and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. 

According to the arrest affidavit filed in County Court by FCPD Officer Jeremy Goldsberry, an “extremely intoxicated” Morley on the afternoon of Dec. 3 threatened Thomas and Amber Cunningham, of 813 Harlan St., with a knife. Police were soon on their way, but Morley didn’t go quietly when Goldsberry attempted to apply the handcuffs. 

Two other Falls City men, both thirtysomethings named Jason, have made themselves stunningly familiar to authorities in no time flat. 

Jason K. Tilton, 35, in a single day twice pled not guilty to DUI – second offense, as well as seven other charges. He appeared in County Court Monday after having been arrested in October for alleged drunken driving – second offense and then again five weeks later. One DUI (second offense)charge also includes operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, no operator’s license and stop sign violation. The other DUI (second offense) comes with refusal to submit to blood, breath or urine test, first offense, driving under suspension, refusal to submit to preliminary breath test and open alcohol container. Tilton is scheduled to appear (reappear?) for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 2. 

When Jason Brownell, 34, was apprehended Dec. 16 after allegedly leading an angry farmer on a high-speed chase from Humboldt to Breezy Hill, it was his third such arrest since Election Day. 

On Nov. 6, police accused him of driving under suspension, no valid registration, no proof of insurance and operating a vehicle without proof of ownership. Two days later, on Nov. 8, they brought Brownell back in on charges of driving under suspension, no valid registration and no proof of insurance. 

In December, a rural Humboldt man claimed to witness a theft in progress and gave chase, calling authorities along the way and providing play-by-play coverage as he tailed Brownell, 26-year-old Everett Loper and David McPherson, 50, all of Falls City, along county roads for some 25 miles through Richardson County. The pursuit came to a peaceful end two miles south of Falls City, but authorities said Brownell was the driver and jailed him with theft by unlawful taking ($201-$499), criminal mischief ($200-$500) and driving under suspension – third offense. He appeared in Court Monday and pled not guilty.

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