November trial set for Grand Island baby kidnapping case

Baby left outside for hours in freezing January weather
McAllister goes on trial in November for a child kidnapping case in Grand Island.
McAllister goes on trial in November for a child kidnapping case in Grand Island.(Hall County Detention Center)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:35 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A Hastings teenager accused of leaving a baby outside of a farmhouse in freezing weather goes on trial in November.

Jozef McAllister, 18, face nine criminal charges including three counts of felony kidnapping, three counts of intentional child abuse, two counts of theft and one count of operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest.

On Tuesday, McAllister waived his right to a jury trial and District Judge Andrew Butler scheduled a bench trial for November 14-16 in Hall County. In a bench trial, testimony and arguments are made before a judge with no jury present.

McAllister is one of two teenagers arrested on Jan. 29 for stealing a car containing three Grand Island children ages 5, 1, and seven months old. Two of those children were later abandoned in a pickup truck and the third, the seven-month-old baby, was left on the deck of a rural Hall County farmhouse in freezing temperatures. The child was found in time and has recovered.

The other teenager, Tate Wolfe, 18, Kearney, pleaded no contest last month and was convicted of the same crimes for which McAllister is charged.

A judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Wolfe Oct. 26.

McAllister is also charged with assaulting a Hall County Jail inmate in March. He’s charged with terroristic threats, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and assault by a confined person. His trial on those charges is scheduled Nov. 6.

Court records indicate the cellmate, a fellow juvenile, said McAllister pulled a homemade sharp-edged instrument commonly known as a shank on March 1. McAllister then set the shank behind him and said he would kill the cellmate if he tried to take it. The cellmate then said McAllister punched him several times in the face.

McAllister was recently transferred to the custody of the Boston police, He was called as a witness in the trial of a Massachusetts man accused of child rape. McAllister has been returned to Nebraska to face trial.

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