An attorney for former Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey successfully argued Monday that his client's trial on a gun charge should be postponed due to intense feelings about firearms after the latest school shooting.
Defense attorney James Martin Davis, referring to the shootings in Newtown, Conn., said in Sarpy County Court that “emotions are just too raw,” for Stacey to receive a fair trial.
“We would wind up spending the next couple of days talking about gun control as we tried to pick a jury,” Davis said.
Judge Susan Bazis agreed and postponed the jury trial until Feb. 20. Bazis said Stacey is responsible for any court costs that arise from the postponement.
Stacey is charged with illegally loaning former Gretna City Administrator Colleen Lawry a handgun for her personal protection. Lawry did not possess a certificate to own a firearm, a certificate county prosecutors said was required but which Stacey and Davis insist was unnecessary.
Stacey was chief at the time, and the charge added to calls for his resignation after allegations of inappropriate remarks to a young girl at a fire station.
Lawry was recently convicted of misusing City of Gretna funds. The misdemeanor that Stacey faces is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Nicole Hutter, an assistant Sarpy County prosecutor, said she didn't know of any other cases involving guns that had been postponed.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1272, firstname.lastname@example.org