Esch Found Guilty

Trent Esch

The jury has reached a verdict in the case of a Broken Bow man accused of shooting at a patrol car.

Trent Esch has been found guilty of felony criminal mischief and using a weapon to commit a felony after shooting at the empty patrol car of Custer County Deputy Sheriff Dan Spanel.

Prosecutors said Esch appeared to have a personal vendetta against Spanel, who arrested Esch after he violated his probation terms.

Custer County Deputy Attorney Glenn Clark said, "He was charged with three different DWIs – all pending at the same time. A condition of the bond was he test. [The deputy] went over and asked him to test, he said ‘Yea, I'll be right down to the sheriff's office,' he never showed up. Found out he went home, the deputy went to his home, he refused to give the test...and he was arrested. And we know that didn't make him very happy with the deputy."

A sentencing hearing has been set for March 21. He faces up to 55 years in prison.