An Omaha man pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of motor vehicle homicide in connection with an October crash that killed a woman and her stepdaughter near Nebraska City.
Ricky E. Anthony, 54, was found guilty by Otoe County District Court Judge Julie Smith. He faces up to three years in prison on each count, but the Otoe County Attorney’s Office will also ask the judge to declare Anthony a habitual criminal because of two prior felony convictions.
As a habitual criminal, Anthony would face a mandatory 10 years and up to 60 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21, exactly one year after the crash that killed Rachel Curry, 32, and Chloe Curry, 15, both of Auburn, Nebraska.
John Palmtag, a prosecutor in the Otoe County Attorney’s Office, said he will ask for the sentencing to be moved to another date out of deference to the Curry family.
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In exchange for Anthony’s plea, prosecutors dropped charges of failing to stop and render aid, reckless driving and driving with a revoked license.
Investigators said Anthony was going north on U.S. Highway 75 in a Buick Rainier SUV when he crossed into the oncoming lane and onto the shoulder. The Currys were going south in a pickup driven by Michael Curry, 39, the husband of Rachel and father of Chloe.
Michael Curry swerved and steered his Chevrolet pickup into the northbound lane, but Anthony swerved back toward the northbound lane, and the two vehicles collided near the center line. Anthony’s SUV caused extensive damage to the passenger side of the Currys’ pickup.
Rachel Curry died at the scene, and Chloe, a student at Johnson County Central High School in Tecumseh, Nebraska, died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Nebraska City. Michael Curry was treated for his injuries. Anthony walked away from the scene.
The SUV was registered to a Nebraska City car dealership that had loaned it to a female acquaintance of Anthony’s. When authorities reached the woman, she told them that Anthony had been driving it from Falls City to Omaha to visit family the night of the crash.
The crash occurred about 7:20 p.m. About 11 p.m., Anthony was found about 57 miles away in Falls City, where he was living temporarily. Anthony was treated for his injuries before he was taken to the Otoe County Jail.
Chloe Curry would have turned 16 three days after the crash.