Suspect pleads no contest to 2nd-degree murder in Bancroft, NE murder case

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(KTIV) – One of the men charged in the 2017 death of a Bancroft, Nebraska, man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder.

On Monday Derek Olson entered the plea in Madison County District Court in the death of 64-year-old Ernest Warnock. Olson also pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in the case.

The state is recommending Olson should be sentenced to between 40 to 60 years for the murder of 64-year old Ernest Warnock, and an additional four years for the arson charge.

Olson had previously pleaded not guilty in the case. He is currently set to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on July 18.

Olson’s father Jody Olson was also charged in the case. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder back in December.

Court officials say Jody Olson’s sentencing could be moved on July 18 as well.

Warnock’s body was found inside his burned-out home.

Authorities say Warnock had been stabbed to death before his house was set on fire.

According to court documents, Jody Olson testified against his son as part of the plea deal.

Jody Olson testified his son Derek was the one who repeatedly stabbed Warnock to death and struck him with a hammer. Jody Olson also testified he struck Warnock a few times over a dispute and Warnock stabbed Jody in the upper arm.

Two other people were sentenced as accessories to the killing.

Becky Weitzenkamp was sentenced to 18-20 years, while Jenna Merrill was sentenced to two years.

Ashly Richardson

Ashly Richardson

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