A 21-year-old Hastings man denied a charge of murder Tuesday in Adams County District Court.
Daniel B. Harden, 21, of 2619 Butterfoot Lane pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. He is accused of trying to rob 19-year-old Jose “Joey” Hansen and killing him in the process.
Judge Terri Harder accepted the plea and scheduled a progression conference for March 26 at 10:30 a.m.
Clarence Mock of Oakland, who represents Harden, said he is waiting for discovery in the case and it will take time to go over all of the evidence.
“I believe it’s a very complex case involving over 100 witnesses,” he said.
Harden also waived his right to speedy trial, based on the advise of his counsel.
Defendants have a right to have his or her case go to trial within six months of the initial filing in the trial court. Any continuances initiated by the defense don’t count against this time period.
Harder explained that by waiving his right to speedy trial, the six-month clock stops until Harden files a request to restart the clock.
Authorities say Harden and Deante H. Mullen, 19, of Lincoln allegedly intended to rob Hansen and the attempted robbery lead to Hansen’s death on Sept. 11, 2017, in 700 block of West G Street. Hansen was killed by a single gunshot wound to the back, which exited the front of his body.
Mullen faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. Mullen’s case is scheduled for an arraignment March 5 at 2 p.m. Mullen is represented by Gregory Neuhaus of Grand Island.
First-degree murder is a Class 1 or Class 1A felony punishable by death or life in prison, respectively. Prosecutors haven’t indicated whether they will pursue the death penalty. Use of a firearm to commit a felony is a Class 1C felony punishable by five to 50 years in prison.
Mullen’s girlfriend at the time, Katherine E. Creigh, 21, of Lincoln, is charged with accessory to a felony for helping Harden and Mullen avoid arrest after the shooting. Accessory to first-degree murder is a Class 2A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
A preliminary hearing in Creigh’s case has been scheduled for April 16 at 2 p.m. Creigh is represented by Cameron Kroeger of Lincoln.