Former Officer Appeals Homicide Convictions

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The Nebraska Court of Appeals was asked Monday to overturn the motor vehicle homicide convictions of a former North Platte police officer.

Defense attorney Robert Lindemeier says Jesse Houpt should get a new trial because of several errors committed by his trial judge.

Prosecutors say Houpt was driving drunk and caused the April 2002 accident that killed fellow North Platte officers Ross Hilsman and Zachary Peters.

They say Houpt and the other off-duty officers had been driving and drinking in the foothills southeast of North Platte.

Lindemeier argues the machine used to test Houpt's blood for the presence of alcohol had not been properly maintained.

Houpt resigned after the accident.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 120 days of electronic monitoring, and 200 hours of community service.

He also was ordered to undergo counseling for alcohol abuse and placed on four years of probation.