A Chadron couple charged with multiple felonies made their first appearances in Dawes County District Court, with one half of the couple striking a deal with the state and the other entering not guilty pleas.

James and Mandi Hardy were arrested in connection with several burglaries and as part of an investigation into the manufacture and delivery of drugs in the region. Both were scheduled to be arraigned in District Court last week. James Hardy, however, came to court prepared to enter into a plea bargain. Two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance were dismissed and a third felony was amended to a misdemeanor count as part of the deal. He entered no contest pleas to misdemeanor negligent child abuse and to a felony charge of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. He will be sentenced June 11.

Mandi Hardy entered not guilty pleas to four felonies, including two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of intentional child abuse and one count of delivery of a controlled substance. She will have a status hearing in her case June 11.

Matasapa Richards entered not guilty pleas to eight counts in two separate cases. He is charged with felony failure to appear in one case, and with seven other felony and misdemeanor counts in the second case. Those charges include fourth offense driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a chemical test, assault on a police officer, refusal to submit to a breath test, resisting arrest, obstruction of a police officer and assault on a police officer with a bodily fluid. He will appear in court again June 11 in both cases.

Taure Lame entered not guilty pleas to six counts and will appear in court again May 7. Lame is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and receiving or disposing of stolen property, misdemeanor counts of obstruction of a police officer and refusing to submit to a chemical test, as well as infractions of possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kendra Nelson entered not guilty pleas to felony child abuse and misdemeanor counts of exposing a child to methamphetamine and false reporting. She will appear in court again June 11.

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In other business, the District Court also:

*heard a request from Keith Sanders to be released from probation early. Judge O’Gorman delayed a decision until June 11 to allow time for the Probation Office to provide a recommendation.

*set a June 11 plea deadline in the case against Nicholas King.

*set a June 11 status hearing for Taylan Schutz

*accepted a not guilty plea from David Rhembrandt on charges for failure to register as a sex offender; he will appear in court again June 11.

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