LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A 50-year-old Hartington man has been released from prison after the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that courts cannot impose a separate “habitual criminal” sentence.
The high court on Friday ordered the release of Barney Meyer. Meyer had been sentenced in 2012 to two to four years in prison for theft and burglary counts for stealing copper wire, plus an additional 10 years on a habitual criminal count.
But the state’s high court said it has previously made clear that the state’s habitual criminal law is not a separate offense. It’s a factor considered to enhance the sentences of other crimes.
The high court agreed with a lower court that because Meyer had already served his time on the other charges, he should be released.