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Kearney driver faces year in jail after killing pedestrian in March
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Kearney driver faces year in jail after killing pedestrian in March

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KEARNEY — John Paul has been convicted in the March 27 death of Veronica L. Powell of Kearney.

Paul, 44, pleaded no contest Wednesday in Buffalo County Court to misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide in Powell’s death. Powell died after Paul lost control of the vehicle he was driving in the 900 block of East 44th Street and struck Powell as she walked with her daughter Eleanor Powell, 19, also of Kearney.

Paul faces up to one year in jail.

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He was cited for the offense in April.

A no contest plea is neither an admission nor denial of guilt, but the plea is treated the same as a guilty plea. Judge Tim Hoeft accepted Paul’s plea and found him guilty, and ordered the Nebraska Probation Office to do a presentence investigation.

Findings of those reports — including background information on the defendant, family and criminal history, employment record and a substance abuse evaluation — will help Hoeft to issue an appropriate sentence in January.

The Powells were walking around 10:41 a.m. on March 27 when they were struck by a 2015 GMC Sierra K2500 pickup driven by Paul. Veronica Powell was pronounced dead at the scene, while Eleanor Powell was transported to CHI Health Good Samaritan, where she was treated and released.


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