Former FPD officer Payton Boston to be sentenced Tuesday

Former FPD officer to be sentenced Tuesday

Former Fremont police officer Payton L. Boston is scheduled to be sentenced in Dodge County Court at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 2.

Boston was found guilty by Dodge County Court Judge Thomas J. Klein of third degree assault, a Class I misdemeanor, on Jan. 23 after Boston agreed to a plea deal with state prosecutors.

Klein could sentence Boston to punishments including up to a maximum one year in county jail, a $1,000 fine, a mixture of both jail time and a fine, or in some circumstances probation is a possible option for the judge.

Boston, 32, who now resides in Council Bluffs, Iowa, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of third degree assault on Monday, Jan. 22, in Dodge County Court, and was found guilty by Klein the next day.

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In August, Boston pleaded not guilty to three different criminal charges filed against him following an investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol. He was officially charged on July 11 with three Class I misdemeanor charges: suspicion of third degree domestic assault, and two separate counts of suspicion of child abuse.

Boston resigned from the Fremont Police Department in April after he was arrested for DUI in a small town in Iowa just across the Missouri River from Blair. He later pleaded guilty to that charge and received a sentence of two-days of in-patient alcohol abuse rehabilitation classes.

Salvation Army theft suspect pleads not guilty

Shirley Brester, the 77-year-old Fremont woman accused of stealing between $140 and $150 from a red kettle donation bucket she was managing in December, 2023, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of suspicion of theft by unlawful taking, less than $500, a Class II misdemeanor.

During her arraignment on March 19, Brester entered a plea of not guilty with her attorney, Julie Ann Greenamyre. Brester is scheduled to next appear in court at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 23.

Brester is alleged to have used a custom-made tweezer-like device to pull cash money from the locked Salvation Army red kettle that she was managing as a volunteer bell ringer in early December 2023.

Customers reportedly became suspicion of Brester as she was working her shift on Dec. 5 and told management at Hy-Vee that they suspected Brester had stolen money from the kettle. After reviewing lobby security camera footage, Hy-Vee staff contacted Fremont police officials to report the incident.

Following a more than two-month investigation, police filed charges against Brester in late February. She reportedly told police investigators that she did steal the money from the kettle.

In an early March interview with the Tribune, Brester also admitted that she stole the money in questions, blaming “the devil” for her actions. She said she attempted to repay the local Salvation Army chapter, but officials with the Fremont Salvation Army said they never received a check from Brester as she claimed.

Hartso plans to plead not guilty to 22 animal charges

Fremont resident Lynnae A. Hartso said in an interview with the Tribune that she plans to plead not guilty to 22 different misdemeanor charges related to city animal ordinance violations.

Hartso, 62, is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 9. She turned herself into Dodge County Sheriff’s Office deputies on March 8 and was arrested before bonding out.

Hartso is accused of 13 counts of suspicion of animal care/shelters/enclosures violation, a misdemeanor; three counts of suspicion of animal cruelty, also a misdemeanor; three counts of suspicion of pet licensing tag violation; also a misdemeanor; three counts of suspicion of pet vaccination violation, a misdemeanor; and one count of suspicion of not isolating a female animal in heat, also a misdemeanor.

Fremont police officials executed a search warrant at her Garfield Street home on Feb. 12, confiscating four adult dogs, seven dog puppies, one cat, one bearded dragon lizard, one gecko lizard and an unknown amount of live mealworms.