BEATRICE – A Gage County District Judge has sentenced a man to state prison for a gun violation in which his mother-in-law was accidentally shot, November 17th of last year.


36-year-old Mitchell Brooks of Beatrice was given a 4-to-8-year prison term for attempted possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. His attorney, Gage County Public Defender Lee Timan said it was a serious case, though an unintentional act.


"Mr. Brooks accidentally discharged a firearm that led to his mother in law getting shot in the leg. There's no indication that this was any kind of an intentional situation. Even his mother in law sent a letter to the court back when we were in county court, saying that she knows this was an accidental discharge....this was not a situation where he meant for the gun to go off. He didn't even pull the trigger...it was more dealing with the hammer when he found the gun. It was already cocked and he tried to un-cock it safely....but it discharged."


Timan said Brooks made sure authorities were summoned to the scene and tried to help the victim before police and medical personnel arrived. The victim was shot in the upper left leg and a police officer used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.


Judge Rick Schreiner said the problem was that Brooks had a prior conviction of possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony, while in Texas.
"In this instance, you unlawfully possessed a firearm, and nearly killed your mother in law. No intent, but you were told twice not to possess firearms. Your story differs from some of the others. You tell me you were holding it straight up in your hands. Somebody else says that you were trying to show them how to run it. It doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter, because you weren't supposed to have it. You've been convicted twice of weapons offenses. The third time, are you going to kill somebody? It nearly happened this time. Had your mother in law not received treatment, she would have died....according to the doctor."


Brooks had served 28 days in custody, for which he received credit off his prison term. Charges of discharging a firearm near a building and second-degree assault were dismissed.


In a separate case....A 47-year-old Beatrice man is going to prison on convictions of 3rd degree arson, methamphetamine possession and resisting arrest.
Douglas Kasl was ordered by District Judge Schreiner to serve a total of five years in prison….and then two years of post-release supervision.


Beatrice Police arrested Kasl after responding to a home in the four-hundred block of North 17th, November 29th of 2022. They evacuated his mother from the home, using a taser to subdue Kasl.