Grand Island kidnapping case transferred to trial court

Central Nebraska teens facing felony charges in the case
Wolfe faces 9 felony charges in connection with the January kidnapping of 3 small children.
Wolfe faces 9 felony charges in connection with the January kidnapping of 3 small children.(Hall County Detention Center)
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 9:24 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - One of the suspects in the January kidnapping of three small children will now face those charges in trial court.

A county judge Tuesday ruled that probable cause exists and transferred the case against 18-year-old Tate Wolfe of Kearney to Hall County District Court for possible trial.

Wolfe is charged with nine felonies related to the incident that put three small children in danger. Court records show those charges are three counts of kidnapping, three counts of child abuse, theft by unlawful taking, theft by receiving stolen property, and operation of motor vehicle to avoid arrest (willfully reckless).

Wolfe and Jozef McAllister, 17, Hastings, were arrested Jan. 29 for stealing a car containing three Grand Island children ages 5, 1, and seven months old. The two older children were discovered later that morning in an abandoned pickup. The seven month old was found about two-and-half hours later on the deck of a farm house in rural Hall County. The temperature at the time was 0°F with a -19° wind chill.

At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing for Wolfe in Hall County Court, the judge heard evidence in the case and ruled that probable cause exists that the crimes were committed and that Wolfe committed them. Wolfe is now scheduled for arraignment Mar. 14 in district court. At arraignment hearings, suspects typically enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in anticipation of a trial.

In February, McAllister waived his preliminary hearing and the judge transferred his case to district court. On Tuesday, McAllister’s attorney asked that his case be transferred to juvenile court. A ruling on that request is pending.

Two central Nebraska teenagers are facing multiple felony charges after a vehicle theft and kidnapping early Sunday morning.