Judge Rules On  Motions In Alleged Stabbing Attack

Kevin Haug enters Cedar County Court, escorted by Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda, Wednesday.

HARTINGTON, Neb. — A Fordyce, Nebraska, man has received a continuance on a first-degree attempted murder charge for allegedly stabbing another man multiple times.

Kevin Haug faces five felony charges in connection with an alleged July 2 incident at a Fordyce residence. Besides attempted murder, Haug has been charged with first-degree assault, burglary, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and possession of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

Haug appeared Wednesday for a preliminary hearing in Cedar County Court. He sought a continuance for the proceedings, which will determine whether he is bound over to Cedar County District Court on the five felony charges.

Cedar County Court Judge Doug Luebe granted the continuance, setting an Oct. 2 preliminary hearing at the Cedar County Courthouse in Hartington.

Cedar County Attorney Ed Matney is prosecuting the case. Norfolk attorney Frederick "Fritz" Bartell is serving as defense counsel. Luebe appointed Bartell as a stand-in defense attorney when Haug made a prior court appearance without legal representation.

Haug faces the charges in connection with an early-morning incident at a Fordyce residence. He allegedly confronted his wife, Rhea Haug, and another man, James Olson.

The two men reportedly got into an altercation, where Haug allegedly stabbed Olson multiple times with 7- and 10-inch knives. Olson was taken to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton for treatment of multiple extensive injuries and was released.

According to court documents, Olson suffered a cut on his forehead, a stab wound in his upper right abdomen that required surgery, a deep laceration to his left hand, and cuts on his lower left abdomen.

After the alleged attack, Haug washed his hands and dropped the knives in a swimming pool before driving away in his vehicle, according to court records. Based on a Yankton Police Department post on Facebook, he apparently fled into Yankton and hit a police car with his vehicle before returning to Nebraska.

Haug had suffered "significant" injuries because of a motor vehicle collision in Cedar County, Matney previously told the Press & Dakotan. The prosecutor said he didn’t have additional information on the collision at the time.

A Facebook post shows what it indicates is the collision, which reportedly resulted in Haug’s capture following a high-speed chase from authorities after the alleged stabbing.

According to the post, Haug was driving a U-Haul when he crashed into a semi while eluding police nearl the intersection of Highways 81 and 84 in Cedar County.

A Yankton Police Department post on Facebook indicated that a vehicle, matching a description of the U-Haul, had earlier crashed into a YPD police car before escaping over the Discovery Bridge into Nebraska.

Haug continues his medical recovery from the motor vehicle collision, which has complicated the scheduling of court appearances and his presence at those hearings, Matney previously told the Press & Dakotan.

After the Cedar County vehicle crash, Haug was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha for treatment of his injuries. When he had recovered sufficiently, the Nebraska State Patrol arrested him and turned him over to the custody of the Cedar County sheriff’s office.

In other court action Wednesday, Haug waived his right to a preliminary hearing on drug charges. He was bound over to Cedar County District Court on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.

Matney indicated he would dismiss a second count of possession of drug paraphernalia, which is classified as an infraction, and re-file the charge in district court.

The initial district court appearance on the drug charges is set for Sept. 23 at the Cedar County Courthouse.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Luebe turned down Haug’s request for bond reduction. The judge kept the bond at $1 million at 10%, meaning the defendant needs to post $100,000 for his release. Haug would also need to meet court conditions as part of a release on bond.

Since his arrest, Haug has remained housed at the Antelope County Jail in Neligh, Nebraska. The Antelope County facility can better handle Haug’s continued medical needs, Matney said. Neligh has a hospital, and Antelope County authorities agreed to house the prisoner.

In making the request for a bond reduction, Bartell said his client couldn’t meet the current bond requirement but could afford a lower bond, such as $50,000 or $100,000 at 10 percent.

Haug is a long-time Cedar County resident and would be willing to comply with Global Positioning System (GPS) monitor or other court condition, Bartell said.

In response, Matney said the state resisted any efforts to lower the bond. Haug represents a threat to public safety, the prosecutor said, noting the number and types of injuries during the alleged attack on Olson.

In addition, the defendant faces other pending court matters, including an alleged probation violation hearing in district court, Matney said.

In the past, Matney has spoken of Haug possibly facing other charges. Besides additional Cedar County charges, Yankton County could file its own action for the alleged crash with the Yankton police car.

In making his bond decision, Luebe said he remains concerned about a number of matters reflecting on the defendant.

Luebe pointed to "the nature of the charges and the violence they represent." In addition, the judge noted the circumstances still surrounding the Haugs and Olson.

Olson and Rhea Haug attended Wednesday’s court hearing. They left immediately after the conclusion of the hearing.

Wednesday’s proceedings also contained a reference to Kevin Haug’s involvement in a civil case in district court seeking a protection order. No further information was given on the matter.

Given those factors, Luebe ruled against a bond reduction. The judge reminded Kevin Haug of the need for him to continue meeting court conditions, including required court appearances and no contact with the alleged victim.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Haug was remanded to the custody of the Cedar County Sheriff and remains housed in the Antelope County Jail.

Haug faces lengthy prison sentences on each of the charges.

The first-degree attempted murder charge, first-degree assault charge and the use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony charge are Class 2 felonies. They each carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

The burglary charge is a Class 2A felony, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The final charge, possession of a deadly weapon while committing a felony, is a Class 3 felony, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

In addition, Haug faces court action for an alleged probation violation.


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