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Man who killed divorce laywer, ex-wife dies in prison

A rural Glenvil man who was sentenced last month to two life terms in prison was found hanging in his cell at the Lincoln Correctional Center Monday morning.

Michael Petersen, 58, was unresponsive when staff found him at 6:14, and was pronounced dead at 6:47 a.m., LCC public information officer Tammy Kluver said in a news release. It appears he killed himself, she said.

Petersen was sentenced to life in August for first-degree murder in the Nov. 13 shooting death of attorney Todd Elsbernd outside his office in Grand Island. Elsbernd handled Petersen’s divorce from Nancy Petersen, who was shot and killed at her Buffalo County home hours before Elsbernd was shot.

Michael Petersen pleaded no contest in both deaths. He was sentenced in May to life in prison in the death of his wife. In exchange for his pleas, the state agreed not to pursue the death penalty.

Hall County Attorney Mark Young said last month that Petersen had no remorse and continued to believe his actions were justified because he felt spurned by his ex-wife, the justice system and Elsbernd.

Court-appointed attorney Jeffery A. Pickens of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy said his client was distraught over divorce proceedings, including a mistake in paperwork he blamed on Elsbernd. Nancy Petersen was awarded half of the couple’s $600,000 estate, and after the divorce, Michael Petersen fell victim to two Nigerian scams that cost him $140,000 to $150,000, he said.

Petersen had unsuccessfully tried to sue Elsbernd.

Authorities searched Petersen’s property near Glenvil after the Nov. 13 shootings and said he had at least a dozen guns, 13 boxes of rifle bullets and more than 100 other bullets and shells.

As is required by Nebraska law whenever an inmate dies in custody, a grand jury will investigate the death.
http://journalstar.com/news/local/911/man-who-killed-divorce-laywer-ex-wife-dies-in-prison/article_afa2e40d-2b90-56da-a3a3-279b48439129.html

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September 24, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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