Jacob Dickmeyer was known as a good friend who worked hard and, at least on the weekend of Dec. 1, 2012, partied hard.
Authorities say four people provided alcohol to the 18-year-old that weekend. At least three knew that Dickmeyer was underage.
Only one faces a felony charge.
Amanda Heiman — a waitress at the Waterloo Fire Barn bar and a friend of Dickmeyer’s — is one of the first Nebraskans to go on trial under a new state law: procuring alcohol for a minor that results in the minor’s death.
Heiman faces up to five years of probation or five years in prison if she is convicted in this week’s trial in Douglas County District Court.
Testimony and crash scene photos on Tuesday painted an ugly picture of what had been a beautiful December Sunday.
About four hours before he drove drunk and crashed on West Dodge Road, Dickmeyer texted a friend who had purchased alcohol for him a day earlier.
Dickmeyer’s friend Alan Peterson, then 26, had bought a 30-pack of beer and a bottle of Jagermeister for Dickmeyer.
“Got half my (Jager) bottle down ... and quite a few beers ... and still not happy,” Dickmeyer wrote. “Lol ... (expletive) up.”
“What’s wrong bud?” Peterson wrote back. “Drinking won’t fix ya.”
Dickmeyer’s response: “I’m not gonna make it then. I’m not driving ... thank God.”
By the end of the night, investigators say, Dickmeyer was behind the wheel, moments after a Fire Barn waitress served him.
The waitress — Heiman, then 20 — also had traded texts that night with Dickmeyer. The two flirted a little, and Heiman told Dickmeyer that he could come into the bar.
She proceeded to serve Dickmeyer and his friend Colby Burke, then 19, at least two pitchers of Busch Light, two Long Island ice teas and two shots of Jagermeister.
Receipts will show it, prosecutor Matt Kuhse told jurors.
Heiman’s lawyer, Michael Tasset, pointed out that three others served Dickmeyer that weekend. Two received misdemeanor citations for providing alcohol to a minor. A third — Dickmeyer’s friend Tyler Geick — wasn’t ticketed.
And Tasset further argued to jurors in his opening statement that Fremont police officers at the bar saw the young men drinking and driving and never intervened.
Sgt. Michael Diers, Officer Stuart Nadgwick and former Officer Adam Kully drank alongside Dickmeyer and Burke that night, Tasset said.
The officers had been at the Fire Barn as part of a going-away celebration for Kully.
As the night wrapped up, Heiman gave Dickmeyer and Burke the keys to her gold Saturn. The two planned to leave and return to pick up Heiman.
The car left for a moment but quickly shot back into the parking lot, apparently because one of the young men forgot something.
At that point, Dickmeyer got out of the car and approached the officers, who were warming up their vehicles in the Fire Barn’s parking lot.
A surveillance videotape shows the men escorting Dickmeyer to the Saturn, then stuffing him into the passenger seat of the car, mere minutes before the crash.
Tasset said at least one of the officers looked on as Dickmeyer slid across the center console and into the driver’s seat. Burke then walked around the car to the passenger side.
The officers watched the drunken young men drive away.
Dickmeyer reached 90 mph and rolled the car; he died at the scene. Burke suffered serious injuries but survived.
Dickmeyer’s blood-alcohol content measured .24.
“As one of the (Fremont) officers said, they weren’t at the bar to be cops that night, they were there to wish their fellow officer happy trails,” Tasset told jurors.
Tasset said prosecutors will have to convince jurors that Heiman’s actions were a proximate cause of Dickmeyer’s death. He pointed to testimony that Dickmeyer was already drunk by the time Heiman served him at the Fire Barn.
Early that evening, Burke, Dickmeyer, Geick, 20, and A.J. Nichols, 19, had about 15 to 20 cans of Busch Light and a bottle of Jagermeister in Nichols’ car, Geick said.
The source of that booze: Peterson, who has been convicted of misdemeanor procuring alcohol for a minor. He was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to spend a month in jail.
At one point that night, the four young men went to a Kum & Go convenience store near 111th Street and West Maple Road and sent Geick into the store because, they figured, his full beard made him look 21.
Geick plopped a 24-pack of Busch Light onto the counter. Clerk James Root sold him the beer without asking for his driver’s license. (Root later was convicted of misdemeanor procuring and was fined $1,000.)
Geick testified that the four made one other stop before the Fire Barn: the Twin Peaks sports bar in west Omaha. The four were seated at a table and ordered beers.
The waitress informed all four that she would need to see their identifications before she served them.
With no fake IDs, Geick said, the four young men bolted.
On that fateful night, it would be the only time they were refused alcohol.