Men connected in Hastings murder case want convictions overturned.

Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 12:40 PM CDT
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The two men convicted in connection with the 2017 shooting death of Hastings resident Jose Hansen are asking an appeals court to overturn their convictions and sentences.

Daniel Harden, 23, Hastings,

for felony Conspiracy to Commit Robbery. An Adams County jury convicted Harden on the conspiracy charge last November, but found him not guilty of murder and a felony weapons charge.

Harden's appeal is being handled by the Adams County Public Defender's office. In a brief filed with the Nebraska Court of Appeals in Lincoln, they argued in part that the district court judge during sentencing on the robbery conspiracy conviction erred in allowing evidence related to the murder and weapons charges for which Harden had been acquitted. That violated Harden's constitutional rights according to the public defender.

They also argued that the sentence of 40-44 years in prison was excessive for the crime of conspiracy to commit robbery.

They further argued that Harden's conviction on the conspiracy charge should be overturned and a new trial ordered on that charge only.

In February,

22, was sentenced to 19-20 years in prison for attempted robbery and 19-20 years for accessory to a felony. He was convicted of those charges in November.

Mullen's appeal is being handled by defense attorney Charles Brewster, who also argued in part, that Mullen's sentence was excessive for the crimes. In his appeal brief, Brewster also argued that the judge handed down the sentence without taking into consideration Mullen's long history of drug abuse.

The appeal also argues that the judge should have taken into account Mullen's age, education, his social and cultural background and "his lack of participation in the violence involved in the commission of those crimes."

Brewster also argued that the judge did not consider Mullen's "considerable cooperation with law enforcement" in the prosecution of Harden's murder trial.

Brewster asked the appeals court to reverse Mullen's convictions and sentences and send the matter back to District Court to resentence Mullen to probation.

In a letter to the appeals court asking for a court-appointed attorney, Mullen wrote in part, "I was just sentenced in your courts to 38-40 years. I do not think what I got was fair for what I did for the system and the family of the victim."

So far, the state court of appeals has not scheduled hearings for either Harden or Mullen.

A third suspect in the case,

, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the case. She was sentenced to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Hansen was found shot to death September 11, 2017, near West G street in south Hastings. No-one was convicted of murder in the case.

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