Jail time for January break-in attempt at KSNB studio

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A Hastings man is getting six months in jail for his part in an attempted break-in at the Local4 studio.

James Wheeler, Jr., 30, was sentenced to six months in jail for criminal mischief, six months in jail for obstructing a police officer and three months in jail for criminal mischief. Each sentence will be served concurrently, or at the same time, and Wheeler gets credit for 90 days already spent in jail.

He was arrested January 11 after authorities found him hiding inside a detached garage on the KSNB-TV property.

It all started just after midnight that day when Wheeler attempted to get inside the National Weather Service offices, on Highway 281 north of Hastings. The Adams County Sheriff's Office said he was unable to completely enter the building.

Deputies responded to the scene, along with Nebraska State Patrol to search for the suspect. Authorities were unable to locate him after this first attempt.

Then just after 2 a.m., Wheeler tried to break into the KSNB-TV studio located near the National Weather Service. He tried several attempts to get into the building, but was unable to enter.

Authorities were called back out to the area and after searching for a short time, they discovered Wheeler hiding in a detached garage on station property. Wheeler had barricaded himself inside the garage. Adams County Sheriff's deputies, along with Hastings Police officers were able to break down a door to the garage to get him out and take him into custody.

Officers said Wheeler, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, told them he had walked out from Hastings and was looking for a car to steal to get to Grand Island.

Wheeler also faces felony charges in Hall county for a carjacking incident which happened in April near Doniphan on Highway 281.