harden trial katherine creigh

Katherine Creigh testifies during the murder trial of Daniel Harden Oct. 30 in Adams County District Court.

A Lincoln woman involved in covering up the 2017 slaying of a 19-year-old Hastings man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge pursuant to a plea deal on Thursday in Adams County Court.

Katherine Creigh, 23, of Lincoln entered the plea to one count of obstructing government operations, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors reduced the charge from accessory to first-degree murder, a Class 2A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Another part of the agreement was that Creigh would testify in the cases of any co-defendants brought to trial.

Creigh’s boyfriend at the time, Deante Mullen, 21, and Daniel Harden, 23, were both charged with first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a crime.

Prosecutors added a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery against Harden, whose jury trial concluded Monday in Adams County District Court. A jury found Harden not guilty of the murder and weapon charges, but convicted him of the conspiracy charge.

Creigh testified in the case, fulfilling her end of the bargain and paving the way for the plea deal to continue.

Adams County Judge Michael Burns accepted the plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed. He scheduled a sentencing date for Jan. 8, 2020, at 1 p.m.

Mullen made a deal similar to Creigh’s with prosecutors and he also testified during Harden’s trial. His case is set for a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Mullen also requested Thursday a reduction in his $1 million bond at that time.

Prosecutors say Mullen and Harden planned to rob Jose “Joey” Hansen in the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2017. The attempted robbery led to Hansen’s death in 700 block of West G Street. Hansen was killed by a single gunshot wound to the back.

During his trial, Harden said he was at home at the time of the shooting.

After the shooting, Creigh said she went back to the scene with Mullen to retrieve a dropped cellphone and package of cigarettes. Creigh also lied to police when questioned about the whereabouts of herself and Mullen at the time of the shooting.

First-degree murder is a Class 1 or Class 1A felony punishable by life in prison. Use of a firearm to commit a felony is a Class 1C felony punishable by five to 50 years in prison. Conspiracy to commit robbery is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Accessory to first-degree murder is a Class 2A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

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