State v. Wright

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State v. Wright

Case Number
Court Number
Call Date
September 15, 2023
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-23-0027, State of Nebraska v. Chad W. Wright (Appellant)

Lancaster County District Court, Judge Lori A. Maret

Attorney for Appellant:  Sam Baue (McHenry, Haszard, Roth, Hupp, Burkholder, Blomenberg & Camplin, PC, LLO)

Attorney for Appellee:  Connor L. Reuter (Lincoln Asst. City Prosecutor)

Criminal Action:   Sufficiency of Evidence and Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Action Taken by Trial Court: Appellant was convicted in county court for disturbing the peace, loitering, and trespass. He was ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $466.95. On appeal, the district court affirmed his convictions and fines.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: Was there sufficient evidence adduced to convict appellant of disturbing the peace, loitering, and trespass? Did appellant’s trial counsel provide ineffective assistance?

Extended Case Summary

A-23-0027 State of Nebraska (Appellee) v. Chad W. Wright (Appellant)

District Court for Lancaster County, Judge Lori A. Maret

Attorney for Appellant: Sam Baue (McHenry, Haszard, Roth, Hupp, Burkholder, Blomenberg & Camplin, PC, LLO)

Attorney for Appellee: Connor L. Reuter (Asst. City Prosecutor for the City of Lincoln)

Criminal: Sufficiency of the Evidence; Ineffective Assistance of Counsel


Wright entered an Office Depot in Lincoln, Nebraska, on May 19, 2021. There was a city-wide COVID-19 related “mask mandate” in effect at the time, and it was store policy to recommend mask usage. Wright was not wearing a face covering. Employees explained to him that the store had a mask mandate. Wright responded by indicating that the “CDC” did not require him to wear a mask, and after additional brief interaction Wright left the store. He re-entered the store within a few minutes and had a verbal exchange with the manager. After being asked to leave, Wright yelled that he did not need to leave and demanded that the police be called. The situation escalated with Wright calling the manager offensive names and then “sucker” punching him in the stomach, although Wright denies that he did this. After law enforcement arrived, Wright cursed at the officer and told him he was “worthless and an idiot.”

Wright was charged with one count of disturbing the peace and one count of loiter and trespass in violation of Lincoln Mun. Code §§ 9.20.05(a) and 9.24.190(a) respectively. Wright pled not guilty, and the case proceeded to a bench trial over the course of two days in March and May 2022. After trial, the county court found Wright guilty on both counts. The court sentenced Wright to pay $275 in fines plus court costs and fees, totaling $466.95. Wright appealed to the district court for Lancaster County, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence against him on both charges and alleging he received ineffective assistance of counsel in that his attorney failed to offer into evidence at trial the “Video Police Report” and his trial attorney failed to move for a new trial. The district court affirmed and this appeal followed

Issues on Appeal:

On appeal to this court, Wright cites the Lincoln Municipal Code and asserts that the evidence was insufficient to convict him on either count. He explains that under the Code that the definition of disturb is, “to throw into disorder or confusion; to interrupt the settled state of.” He suggests that the evidence is conflicting whether he “disturbed” any person. Wright also argues he cannot be guilty of loiter and trespass as no one gave him actual notice that that he was no longer welcome at Office Depot, so there is insufficient evidence that he refused to leave.

Wright also argues that his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to offer exculpatory evidence at trial. Specifically, he contends that a thirteen-minute video from the law enforcement officer’s body camera, had it been offered into evidence, would have resulted in his acquittal. Wright also complains that his trial counsel failed to file a motion for new trial because there was insufficient evidence to convict him. The State responds that the body camera footage is not a part of the record and therefore, the record is insufficient to support a finding on appeal that his trial counsel was ineffective. Due to the lack of a record, the State submits that this matter should be affirmed.

Case Location
University of Nebraska Omaha
Court Type
District Court
Schedule Code
Panel Text
Pirtle, Chief Judge, Moore and Riedmann, Judges