Charges filed in district court in Hastings double fatality case
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Prosecutors have filed six charges against a Hastings man accused of killing two teenagers in a December 12 crash.
Anthony Pingel, 32, is charged in Adams County District Court with two counts of felony Motor Vehicle Homicide, two counts of misdemeanor Third Degree Assault, one count of misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence and one count of Contempt of Court. On Jan. 4, Pingel waived a probable cause hearing in Adams County Court.
Pingel was arrested after a Dec. 12 accident just east of Hastings in which two teenagers died.
He is scheduled for an arraignment hearing in district court Feb. 4. At this hearing, Pingel can plead either guilty or not guilty to the charges. He may also say nothing at the hearing, in which case the district judge will typically enter a plea of not guilty on the suspect’s behalf.
The teenagers who died in the crash were Victoria Fleming, 16, of Superior and Tristen Owens, 18, of Hastings. The vehicle carrying the victims was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived at the scene. The assault charges are related to injuries suffered by two other passengers riding in the victim’s vehicle. An Adams County court official told Local4 that the contempt of court charge was related to Pingel’s alleged refusal to comply with a court-ordered blood test.
According to the arrest affidavit, when deputies arrived on scene, they observed a silver Jeep, registered to Pingel with extensive front end damage. Court records indicate that investigators observed Pingel to be under the influence of alcohol.
If convicted of felony motor vehicle homicide, Pingel could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each of the two counts, for a possible total of 40 years. The max penalties for convictions on the misdemeanor charges total just more than two years in prison and/or $2,500 in fines.
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