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Burglary charges dropped against Nebraska bounty hunter

OMAHA, Neb. – A judge has dismissed a burglary charge against a bounty hunter who broke in and was looking for a Omaha home of the family before he was in the wrong house.

Douglas County District Judge Shelly Stratman ruled that Duane Wilson’s actions were not of the line with the judgements of the court concerning the actions of the bounty hunters.

“If the state wants to curtail the wide powers of bail bondsmen, then it would have to do legislatively by means of selective criminal prosecution,” Stratman said in her ruling.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told the Omaha World-Herald that he plans to appeal the ruling. He suggested that the refugees should be held by agents in the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force, not by “armed vigilantes.”

Small said that he would be able to request that the Legislature create laws pertaining to bounty hunters.

“When you have people to act as vigilantes, it can be a lot of innocent people in danger,” said Small. “I’m going to do everything I can to prevent this activity going on.”

Wilson, 25, works for Gallagher Bail Bonds in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The police documents show Gallagher was looking for a 17-year-old who can’t make it to the court after being rescued from the prison. Wilson broke into a house of the family of Jan. 30 planning to catch the teenager.

“This is not the house of the person who skipped bail,” said Small. “It is the house of a family who was totally innocent and was terrorized. Something very bad would have happened.”

The family said Wilson searched the house with a gun drawn.

“Someone pushed against the door with a drawn gun,” the police report said.

Wilson has denied the claims. In an interview with the police, he said that the family might have confused his flashlight for a gun.

“Wilson stated that he knows that Nebraska does not recognize bounty hunters, but he felt that he still had the right to the property,” the report said.

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Information: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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