A Beatrice man was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for shooting someone in the neck last year.
Nathan King, 34, was sentenced Wednesday in Gage County District Court for the 2018 shooting that occurred at a Beatrice residence when King shot a handgun through an exterior door of a residence, hitting Boston Bieler in the neck.
“Every day I think about what happened and I wish I could go back and change it,” King said in the courtroom. “I know Boston’s life will never be the same and I can’t imagine the pain, anxiety and stress that he’s gone under. I am truly sorry for that. I wish I could go back and change everything.”
Bieler was left paralyzed and watched from a wheelchair as District Court Judge Rick Schreiner sentenced King to 10 ½ to 15 years in prison.
“The facts of this case are tragic, senseless and unnecessary,” Schreiner said. “In the end Mr. Bieler will never be able to care for himself again, never stand again, never walk again, never hold his children again. He has no ability to act independently whatsoever.”
King was sentenced to 8-12 years on a charge of second-degree assault and 30 months for terroristic threats. The sentences will be served consecutively, totaling 10 ½ to 15 years.
Per a plea agreement, charges of attempted murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony were dismissed.
The shooting occurred on March 11, 2018 at 27522 S.W. 32nd Road, on the southwest outskirts of Beatrice.
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Bieler was found on the front porch by first responders bleeding from the back of his neck and a female was holding his head and applying a towel to the wounded area.
Court records state King and Bieler had been arguing on the porch and King threatened to shoot the victim, then went in the residence and fired a shot through the front door, hitting Bieler.
Schreiner said King’s level of intoxication was three times the legal driving limit when he submitted a test to law enforcement, and a witness statement indicated the disagreement between the two may have started over a case of beer.
“The senseless argument, this probably happens a dozen times every weekend,” Schreiner said. “People get drunk, argue over stupid stuff and nobody gets hurt. This time somebody got hurt. Somebody got hurt terribly.”
Defense attorney Justin Kalemkiarian requested probation in the case, saying King has a minimal criminal history and that the shooting was not planned.
“There is nothing to indicate that this was a premeditated shooting,” Kalemkiarian said. “The facts are pretty clear that Mr. Bieler and Mr. King were friends, at times very close friends.”
Kalemkiarian added that Bieler was asked to leave the residence multiple times before the shooting and that King may have not known where Bieler was when he pulled the trigger on account of the exterior door having only a small window and it being dark outside.
“Mr. King fired the shot through the window and that should have never happened,” Kalemkiarian said. “It clearly should never have happened. But I bring all this up judge to provide some context. Mr. King is not a monster. There is no indication that he has a prior addiction towards violent behavior.”
Gage County Attorney Roger Harris asked for a prison sentence in the case, saying the severity of King’s actions were too severe for probation.
“Quite frankly your honor, this case is relatively simple,” he said. “When the court announces the sentence one of these individuals is going to get up out of his chair and walk out of this room today. We’re asking that he be in handcuffs.”