- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - Prosecutors want the Nebraska Supreme Court to overrule the Nebraska Appeals Court, which had overturned a Scottsbluff man’s conviction on child abuse.

Cody Olbricht was convicted last year of child abuse resulting in serious injury, accused of beating his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter. In February the Appeals Court said evidence didn’t show the girl’s injuries occurred when Olbricht was the only adult in her presence and ruled that Olbricht couldn’t be tried again.

The Scottsbluff Star-Herald reports (https://bit.ly/293UVSm ) that prosecutors say in their appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court that the evidence was sufficient for the conviction and that the Appeals Court was overreaching in requiring that prosecutors show the girl was solely in Olbricht’s care when the injuries occurred.

The state must establish the defendant’s guilt for a conviction, the prosecutors’ appeal says, but prosecutors are “not required to disprove every hypothesis consistent with the defendant’s presumed innocence.”

Court records show the girl was hospitalized in late September 2014 after her grandmother noticed she had a fever and was lethargic and vomiting.

The Appeals Court questioned the credibility of the girl’s mother, who said in testimony that she hadn’t noticed that the girl suffered any serious injures before dropping her off with a baby sitter and who had been the subject of complaints filed with child welfare authorities. The girl’s mother, Cassandra Miller, was sentenced last year to two years’ probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor child abuse by neglect.

The Appeals Court also questioned the testimony of the girl’s grandmother, who had been convicted of false reporting and other charges.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Aug. 30.


Information from: Star-Herald, https://www.starherald.com

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