Sept 15 Preliminary Hearing Set For Chadron Murder Defendant

     The Chadron teenager accused of killing a man last month in a Chadron home is now scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Dawes County Court on September 15th at 10:00 AM.. 

    19-year-old Ian “Sage” Little Moon is charged with 1st Degree Murder and Felony Use of a Deadly Weapon in the July 23 shooting death of 72-year-old John Martinez.

     Little Moon appeared in court Wednesday afternoon on both the murder case and two prior misdemeanors. Drew Pope, his attorney on the misdemeanors, was granted a 6-month continuance after Little Moon waived his right to a speedy trial. 

     County Judge Russ Harford then appointed Dawes County Public Defender Becca Chasek to represent Little Moon in the murder case. Chasek expected the move and had already prepared a motion asking for legal help.

     Harford had already named Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner to assist County Attorney Vance Haug, so Harford appointed the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy to work with Chasek. The Commission specializes in murder and other major cases.

      Little Moon was denied bail on his first court appearance and Chasek asked Harford Wednesday to set a reasonable bail figure so her client could at least have a goal to work toward.

       Haug opposed the request and Harford agreed, citing 3 reasons including that Little Moon faces the possibility of the death penalty, making him a greater risk of flight. He also pointed to the defendant’s failure to appear on an MIP charge and to his fleeing to the Pine Ridge Reservation after Martinez was killed. 

     Harford said it seemed likely Little Moon would return to reservation if free on bond, which could make it difficult to find him again – much less extradite him back to Chadron.

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