Haug attempted murder trial is set for March

HARTINGTON — A pre-trial hearing will be held Jan. 13 and a three-day trial is slated to begin March 11 for a Fordyce man facing two charges of attempted murder.

The Jan. 13 hearing will also serve as a pre-trial hearing on an unrelated drug charge Haug is also facing.

Judge James Kube also accepted eight “not guilty” pleas on felony charges against Kevin Haug,44,duringFriday’s arraignment hearing in Cedar County District Court.

Newly appointed District Court Judge Bryan Meismer is expected to preside over the motions hearing and the trial.

If convicted of the attempted first degree murder charges, Haug could face 50 years in prison on each charge.

The charges all stem from several July 2 incidents that in which Haug is alleged to have been involved.

Haug was apprehended July 2 after a high speed chase with South Dakota and Nebraska law enforcement officials ended in a car accident at the intersection of Highway 81 and 84.

Haug was driving a U-Haul truck when it collided with a semi-trailer truck at the intersection. The accident took place during a police chase down Highway 81.

Haug is being accused of allegedly stabbing James Olson in Fordyce the morning of July 2.

According to Cedar County Sheriff’s Dept. reports, Olson was stabbed with what looked to be a machete some time before 7 a.m., Tuesday.

Rhea Haug called 911 at 6:51 a.m. to report her estranged husband had stabbed Olson at her home at 106 Fourth Street in Fordyce.

She reported Olson was bleeding severely from his legs, head and stomach area.

Haug was seen leaving the scene in a white 2007 Chevrolet Suburban.

Investigators said they saw blood on the sidewalk leading from the house. Signs of forced entry into the house were also evident. Two knives — one a 10-inch corn knife — were also recovered at the scene.

Olson was taken by ambulance to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, S.D., where he was treated for stab wounds to his forehead, hand and abdomen. Law enforcement reports indicate he underwent surgery for a deep laceration to his abdomen.

A two-state manhunt for Haug then ensued. He was spotted in the early evening hours of July 2 crossing the Missouri River bridge from Yankton back into Cedar County. He then led law enforcement officials down Highway 81 before crashing a stolen U-Haul truck into a Cedar County Sheriff’s department vehicle being driven by deputy Sam Vacha.

Haug was eventually captured by law enforcement and was hospitalized in Omaha for injuries he sustainedduring the pursuit. The Nebraska State Patrol later arrested him and turned him over to Cedar County authorities.

At Friday’s hearing, Kube advised the defendant of his rights and read the complete list of felony charges he is facing.

• Two counts of first-degree attempted murder

• One count of first-degree assault

• One count of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

All four charges are Class 2 felonies, each with a maximum sentence of 50 years imprisonment and a minimum of one year in prison.

• One count of possession of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, a Class 3 felony. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine with a minimum penalty of one year imprisonment.

• One count of assault on an officer using a motor vehicle, a Class 3A felony. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

• One count of operation of a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and one count of criminal mischief. Both are Class 4 felonies. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine with no minimum.

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