A 24-year-old Prague, Nebraska, resident pleaded no contest Monday to a reduced charge of misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide in connection with an accident last summer in which his friend died.

Brandon L. Ostry, who faced up to 20 years in prison on a charge of felony motor vehicle homicide, was drunk when driving a pickup truck about 1:30 a.m. on July 19, investigators said.

Jacob E. Smaus, 23, died, and Jesse Mumaugh, 27, was injured when they were thrown from the back of the pickup after Ostry “accelerated hard,” said Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz.

Ostry also pleaded no contest to first-offense drunken driving and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors. Authorities dismissed a charge of tampering with physical evidence in exchange for the pleas.

Saunders County District Judge Mary C. Gilbride will sentence him May 9. No sentencing recommendation was reached, according to court documents.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1272, kevin.cole@owh.com

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