BEATRICE – A 37-year-old man serving consecutive Lancaster County terms of incarceration has had prison timed tacked onto that, in Gage County.
Joseph Burns was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday, by Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner. He was convicted of operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and willful reckless driving.


Deputy Gage County Attorney Michael Wehling said Burns was a high risk for criminal activity. "It appears Mr. Burns is serving consecutive sentences of six months, six months and a year, so he is currently incarcerated for two years. The important one to point out in nineteen-three-three-eight is operating a motor vehicle to arrest, which is the same felony in this matter. In that case, that occurred on January 31st, 2019....and now, here we are five months later, again operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, only this time, it is in Gage County".


Defense attorney Jerry Shelton said Burns took responsibility for his actions and Shelton sought concurrent prison terms on his client’s behalf. Burns told the judge.
"I'm sorry for putting so many people in this town at risk....and, I'm doing everything possible to make myself a better person, every day".


Judge Schreiner told the defendant he’s spent a lot of time in court saying he’s sorry for his actions, citing a criminal record that dates back to 1999….many of the offenses involving a vehicle.
"Mr. Burns, I don't know what it's going to take. You've had a long time to address these issues, and you've just ignored every opportunity at intervention and gone about living life the way you want, placing others in danger in doing so".


The sentences Burns received in Gage County will begin after he serves his two- year incarceration in the Lancaster County cases. He was also given post release supervision in Lancaster County.


The Gage County charges stemmed from an attempted traffic stop in Beatrice last May, by a Nebraska State Trooper. The vehicle driven by Burns sped through Beatrice at up to 90-miles-per-hour running several stop signs, then east of the city on U.S. Highway 136. Burns eventually fled his vehicle on foot, southeast of Beatrice, before being found along a bike trail.