Clay County shoot-out suspect to trial court

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 2:48 PM CDT
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The Lincoln man connected to an April shoot-out in Clay County will now face nine felony charges in trial court.

Wesley Blessing, 46, is charged in Clay County with three counts of Attempted Assault on an Officer, three counts of Use of a Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony, two counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Prohibited Person and one count of drug possession.

The incident began

when Hastings Police tipped off Clay County authorities after a woman told them she had been held against her will by Blessing since the morning of April 10. The 34-year-old Hastings woman, described as an ex-girlfriend of the suspect, told police they had been driving in the country Tuesday afternoon when Blessing got out of the car. She then escaped in the vehicle and reported to the police station.

The Clay County Sheriff said Blessing allegedly fired shots from a 9 MM handgun at law enforcement that afternoon on a rural road in the southwest part of the county.

After the shots were fired at deputies more than 100 officers from Clay County, Fillmore County, Nuckolls County, Adams County, the Harvard and Sutton police departments and the Nebraska State Patrol, SWAT helicopter and airplane began a search in rural Clay County near DeWeese..

Later that day, Blessing made his way into DeWeese.

Stephany Black told Local4 that Blessing approached her DeWeese home, knocked on the door and asked for a drink. While Blessing was talking to her husband, Black called 911 and a nearby Nuckolls County deputy was called to the scene.

The Nebraska State Patrol said as the deputy responded, Blessing was observed with a handgun. During the confrontation, Blessing was shot by the sheriff’s deputy.

Black said Blessing took off down the street. Black said gunshots were fired and Blessing was wounded in the face.

On Tuesday, Blessing waived an evidence hearing in Clay County court. A judge transferred the case to district court for possible trial. Blessing's arraignment in district court is scheduled July 8. He's been transferred from the Tecumseh state pen to the Clay County jail on $250,000 bond.

Eight of the nine charges Blessing faces carry max penalties of 50 years in prison. Those are the assault and weapons charges. The drug charge carries a max penalty of two years in prison.