Drug Trial Begins For Ex-BBCO Public Defender

       The drug trial of former Box Butte County Public Defender Jon Worthman is expected to conclude today in Scotts Bluff County District Court.

He waived a jury trial in favor of a bench trial and Judge Richard Birch of North Platte was named to the trial, which began Tuesday.

        Worthman, who at one time was also a deputy Dawes County public defende, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver after he bought cocaine from a person cooperating with the WING drug task force in January

       Defense attorney Mauren Chaloupka told Judge Birch in her opening statement that Worthman would have pleaded guilty to a simple possession charge, but that the state’s case for distribution was based on the “crazy talk” of a drug addict trying to get free cocaine.

        Court documents show that Worthman told investigators after his arrest he used cocaine himself and had accepted the drug in exchange for legal services in the past.