SIDNEY, Neb. – A more than yearlong process finally culminated on Friday, September 28, as Jackson Feddersen, 19 of Sidney, stood awaiting his fate in the Cheyenne County District Court Room. The Honorable Judge Derek C. Weimer asked the defendant to stand prior to announcing the jury’s decision.
“We the jury…do find the defendant, Jackson G. Feddersen, on the count of Robbery, not guilty, on the count of Burglary, not guilty, dated this 28th day of September 2018,” Judge Weimer announced.
Feddersen faced two felony charges of Robbery and Burglary and, if convicted, could have faced up to a maximum of 70 years imprisonment. The charges stemmed from an alleged breaking-and-entering incident in the early morning hours of August 31, 2017. Feddersen was said to be identified by Ryan Stettner, age 20 of Sidney, who claimed he was assaulted and had $3,000 stolen from him.
The primary argument from the defense focused on the absence of any DNA or physical evidence linking Feddersen to the crime scene, as well as the different versions of the incident told by Stettner to law enforcement, friends, and Council.
The prosecution pointed out several exhibits of evidence against Feddersen including his personal cell phone browser history. On the day of the alleged incident, the browser history shows searches for “how long can dna be tested on a hat,” “is word of mouth enough to convict,” and the Nebraska State Statute 28-507 which outlines the definition and interpretation of Burglary.
In total, over 20 witnesses were called to give their testimonies including law enforcement officers, forensic scientists from the Nebraska State Patrol who tested items for DNA in this case, and other minors who claimed they were with or saw either Feddersen or Stettner the night in question.
Defense attorney Don Miller said after the verdict was announced the Feddersen family was relieved and he commends the jury on their decision.
“That was not an easy case,” Miller explained. “There were a lot of exhibits, I think we were up to 80 something by the end, we had, I believe, over 20 different witnesses testify, it was not an easy case. But we are very happy, very gratified, with the decision made by the jury. We think the evidence supports the decision that they made so we’re very happy.”
KSID reached out to Doug Warner, the Nebraska Assistant Attorney General who prosecuted this case, for a statement regarding the jury verdict. Councilman Warner declined to comment.