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Hastings men lose appeals in 2017 murder case

Both Daniel Harden and Deante Mullen lost appeals for sentences for crimes related to a 2017...
Both Daniel Harden and Deante Mullen lost appeals for sentences for crimes related to a 2017 Hastings murder.(Adams County Jail)
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 11:18 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska Court of Appeals Tuesday denied an appeal from a Hastings man who was sentenced for robbery in connection with the September 2017 shooting death of Jose Hansen.

The appeals court in August had also denied an appeal from a Lincoln man who had also protested the sentences for crimes related to the same case.

Daniel Harden, who was tried and found not guilty of murder during a 2019 trial, was instead convicted of felony conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 40-44 years in prison. Harden last year appealed that sentence, arguing that it was excessive and that District Judge Terri Harder abused her discretion. In his appeal Harden argued, among other things, that Judge Harder had included factors related to the murder charge for which he had been acquitted in her decision on sentencing for the robbery conviction. He also argued that his attorney was ineffective.

In its decision issued Tuesday, the appeals court ruled that the sentence was not excessive and that Judge Harder did not abuse her discretion, pointing out that the sentence length fell within the range set by the legislature for a Class 2 felony, which is one to 50 years in prison. The court also ruled that Harder did not consider any inappropriate factors. And the court ruled that Harden’s attorney was not deficient in representing him during the sentencing phase of the case.

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

Deante Mullen, Lincoln, was sentenced to 19-20 years in prison for attempted robbery and 19-20 years for accessory to a felony, two convictions which were also related to the Hansen case. Mullen appealed those sentences in June 2020. In August, the appeals court denied Mullen, saying the lengths of those sentences fell within the ranges for those crimes set by state statute.

Katherine Creigh was sentenced to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor connected to the case.

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