Three Felony Cases Against Dawn Dismissed on Eve of Trial, Miller Fails to Endorse Witness in Time

Henrietta Dawn is free after having three felony cases dismissed just days before the jury trial in two cases was set to proceed.

In the two cases set for trial, Dawn’s Attorney Stacy Bach filed a Motion in Limine for the Box Butte County District Court for an order “excluding the testimony and presentation of any evidence of the State’s Witness of ‘NSP Lab Analyst’ or any other such designated witness and alleged illegal substance possession.”

She filed the motion on Aug. 13. Bach cited her reason for the motion as a “lack of compliance with statutes and court orders, lack of notice to the Defendant, Defendant’s due process rights, and the highly prejudicial affect upon the Defendant if such witness is allowed to testify and present such evidence.”

In the motion, Bach noted that no lab analyst was endorsed as a witness. She wrote that in one of Dawn’s cases, Jerry Smith was listed as an additional witness on May 6, but that there was no identification or endorsement. She explained in the motion that the prosecutor had not made a motion to endorse Jerry Smith as a witness.

On Aug. 17, a hearing was conducted on Bach’s motion.

On Aug. 18, Deputy County Attorney Larry Miller filed a motion to endorse Jerry Smith as a witness, arguing that the Defendant’s counsel had been provided with “five separate Nebraska State Patrol Laboratory Results Signed by Jerry D. Smith,” in January.

Also on Aug. 18, District Court Judge Travis O’Gorman ordered to not allow Jerry Smith to testify as “the State has failed to properly endorse the witness, and has not done so withing thirty days prior to trial as required by statute.” He also ordered that any findings of the NSP Lab Analyst would not be allowed in trial.

On Aug. 19, the day before the trial was set to begin, Miller filed motions in the three cases against Dawn to dismiss each. The Alliance Times-Herald made multiple attempts to contact Miller, but he failed to respond before press time.

In the first case against Dawn, according to court documents obtained before they were sealed, she was charged with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine, each a class 2 felony. In the second case, Dawn was charged with three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, each a class 2 felony.

In the third case, which was not set for trial, Dawn was charged with possession of methamphetamine, a class 4 felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, an infraction. According to the Affidavit for Custody in the case, an officer with the Alliance Police Department made contact with Dawn regarding an arrest warrant.

While inside the residence, an investigator with the WING Task Force saw “a large microwave glass plate with white residue,” on the floor of the living room. A search warrant was secured, and during a search of the residence, “a glass methamphetamine pipe with burnt white residue was located, a makeshift pill bottle bong was located as well as a makeshift tinfoil pipe.”The incident occurred in March 2019.

This is the second prominent case dismissed by Miller since June. The other was a case against Delmas Wilson, who was charged with five felony counts, including two counts of first degree sexual assault, each a class 2 felony, and attempted second degree murder, a class 2 felony.

At 4:15 p.m. on June 3, the day before the trial was set to begin, Miller filed a motion to dismiss the case. In that dismissal, Box Butte County had to reimburse travel expenses for a witness from Texas, totaling more than $1,200.