State v. Eagle Elk

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State v. Eagle Elk

Case Number
A-15-0834
Call Date
October 12, 2016
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-15-0834, State of Nebraska v. Guy Eagle Elk (Appellant)

Trial Court: Scottsbluff County, District Judge Travis P. O'Gorman

Attorney for Appellant: William E. Madelung (Madelung Law Office)

Attorney for Appellee: Douglas J. Peterson, Melissa R. Vincent (Attorney General's Office)

Criminal Action: Aiding and Abetting First Degree Assault

Action Taken by Trial Court: A jury found appellant guilty of aiding and abetting first degree assault. Subsequently, the trial court sentenced appellant to 25 to 30 years' imprisonment.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: Appellant assigns three errors on appeal: 1) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence a video recording of the attack; 2) the State failed to present sufficient evidence to support his conviction; and 3) the trial court erred in imposing an excessive sentence.

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-15-0834, State of Nebraska v. Guy Eagle Elk (Appellant)

Original Trial Court: Scottsbluff County, District Judge Travis P. O'Gorman

Attorney for Guy Eagle Elk (Appellant): William E. Madelung (Madelung Law Office)

Attorney for the State (Appellee): Douglas J. Peterson, Melissa R. Vincent (Attorney General's Office)

Background: The State charged Guy Eagle Elk with aiding and abetting first degree assault. The charge stems from an incident which occurred late on the night of February 13, 2014 and into the early morning hours of February 14, when Eagle Elk was incarcerated in the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center. The State alleged that, on that night, Eagle Elk encouraged or assisted a fellow inmate, Dylan Cardeilhac, in attacking a correction's officer as part of a plan to escape the detention center.

Video surveillance from the detention center depicts Cardeilhac's attack on the correction's officer and the aftermath of this attack. The officer ultimately died as a result of the injuries she sustained. Eagle Elk is charged only with aiding and abetting first degree assault (rather than aiding and abetting murder) because there was no evidence to indicate he intended the officer to die or that he knew that Cardeilhac intended to kill the officer.

After a trial, a jury found Eagle Elk guilty of aiding and abetting first degree assault. The trial court subsequently sentenced him to 25 to 30 years' imprisonment. Eagle Elk has appealed from his conviction and sentence. In his appeal, Eagle Elk raises the following issues:

The district court erred in admitting into evidence the video recording of Cardeilhac attacking the correction's officer because the video was not relevant and even if it was relevant, it was unfairly prejudicial to him.
The State presented insufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Eagle Elk aided and abetted first degree assault, especially considering Cardeilhac's testimony that Eagle Elk did not play any role in the attack.
The trial court imposed an excessive sentence because the sentence did not properly reflect Eagle Elk's young age and level of immaturity at the time of the attack.

Case Location
Doane University
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Pirtle, Judge, and McCormack, Justice, Retired