Verdigre woman killed; Husband held without bond

Written October 22nd, 2014


According to reports from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Verdigre Police and the sheriff’s office responded to a report of a shooting at 620 Main Street in Verdigre on Monday morning, October 20, 2014. Linda O. Privett, age 66, was pronounced dead at the scene. Phillip M. Privett, age 66, was taken into custody by the officers. There were no other suspects. Verdigre Rescue responded to the scene but were not needed.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday, the following day, by the Douglas County Coroners Office.

Phillip Privett remains in the custody of the Knox County Sheriff. Knox County Judge Donna Taylor set his bond at $1,000,000, subject to a 10% option. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday, October 24, at 1:00 p.m. Formal charges are pending.

The Privetts had moved from Fremont to Verdigre in August of 2007. They reportedly had spent time in the Verdigre area while they lived in Fremont, attracted to the hunting, fishing and picturesque sights of the Verdigris Valley.

NEWS RELEASE October 22, 2014

Dean Wavrunek, Verdigre Police Chief, and Don Henery, Knox County Sheriff, reported that an autopsy performed on Linda Privett, age 66, of Verdigre, Nebraska, by the Douglas County Coroner’s Office, determined that she died from a gunshot wound to her face and neck. Linda Privett and Phillip Privett, age 66, of Verdigre, Nebraska, had been married 44 years.

Services for Linda Privett are pending at Ludvigsen Mortuary, Fremont, Nebraska.

Charges are pending on Phillip Privett. He is being held at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for safekeeping. His bond remains at $1,000,000.00, subject to the 10% option.


Knox County Sheriff forwarded this update on October 24, 2014:

The State of Nebraska filed charges against Phillip Michael Privett of First Degree Murder, a Class 1A Felony and Use of a Firearm to Commit a Felony, a Class 1C Felony.

The State filed a notice that it was not alleging any aggravating circumstances, which means that it is not seeking the death penalty. Privett appeared at a hearing in the Knox County Court on Friday, October 24, by video conference, as he is being held at the Nebraska State Penitentiary for safe keeping.

Knox County Judge Donna Taylor advised Privett of his constitutional and trial rights, the nature of the charges and possible penalties, and appointed Rodney Smith and Douglas Stratton to represent Privett. A preliminary hearing was set for November 6, 2014, at 3:00 P.M.

Privett remains in custody of the Knox County Sheriff. His bond was continued in the amount of one million dollars, subject to the 10% option.

UPDATE: November 13, 2014
Privett denied bond
At a November 6 hearing at the Knox County Courthouse, Privett was advised of the nature of his charges (1st degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony) and of his rights.

A motion filed by John Thomas, Knox County Attorney, on October 28, 2014, to deny bail was heard. Verdigre Police Chief Dean Wavrunek testified. The motion was sustained and the court determined Privett would be held without bond. He was remanded to the custody of the Knox County Sheriff.

Attorney Douglas Stratton withdrew as counsel for Privett, citing a potential conflict of interest. Attorney Rodney Smith of O’Neill acted as defense counsel at the hearing.

Online court records indicate that Privett is scheduled in Knox County Court for a preliminary hearing on December 4, 2014.

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