Grand Island kidnapping case goes to trial court

GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska (NSSC) – One of the suspects in the January kidnapping of three young children will now face these charges in trial court.

On Tuesday, a district judge ruled that there was a probable cause and referred the case against 18-year-old Tate Wolfe of Kearny to Hall County District Court for a possible trial.

Wolfe is charged with nine felony charges related to an incident that put three young children in danger. Court records show that these charges include three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child abuse, theft by unlawful seizure, theft by obtaining stolen property, and using a vehicle to avoid arrest (willfully reckless).

Wolfe and Joseph McAllister, 17, Hastings, were arrested on January 29 for stealing a car containing three Grand Island children aged 5, 1, and seven months. The two older children were found later that morning in an abandoned pickup truck. About two and a half hours later, a seven-month-old baby was found on the terrace of a farmhouse in rural Hall County. The temperature at the time was 0°F with a cold wind of -19°.

At Wolfe’s preliminary hearing Tuesday in Hall County Court, the judge heard evidence in the case and ruled that there was a probable cause that the crimes were committed and that Wolfe committed them. Wolfe is now scheduled to be charged March 14 in district court. At arraignment hearings, suspects usually plead guilty or not guilty while awaiting trial.

In February, McAllister refused a preliminary hearing, and the judge referred his case to the circuit court. On Tuesday, McAllister’s lawyer asked that his case be taken to juvenile court. A decision on this request is pending.

Two teenagers from central Nebraska have been charged with multiple felonies after stealing a car and kidnapping people early Sunday morning.

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