Man pleads no contest to motor vehicle homicide after running from law enforcement in York County

YORK – Christopher Brewer, 30, of North Platte, who fled from law enforcement in York County with the pursuit ending in him crashing and his passenger being killed, has been allowed a bond reduction.

He earlier pleaded not guilty to all eight counts against him including motor vehicle homicide.

On Nov. 18, 2022, at 7:40 a.m., a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol saw Brewer’s Jeep Wrangler driving on the shoulder of Interstate 80 a mile east of York. The trooper also reported Brewer was driving too close to another vehicle. The trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, but Brewer accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and a pursuit began.

According to the state patrol, Brewer exited I-80 and began driving on county roads south of the interstate, in York County. The vehicle then entered a field and Brewer continued fleeing to the south. When the vehicle drove through a fence and continued into a pasture, the trooper did not pursue.

Brewer continued southbound through the field while the trooper drove back north to connect with the nearest county road. The York County Sheriff’s Department and the Seward County Sheriff’s Department then picked up the pursuit as the vehicle continued southbound. Moments later, Brewer’s vehicle struck a bridge guardrail and crashed.

The entire incident lasted approximately 15 minutes.

His passenger, Melissa Hernandez, 30, of North Platte, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

Brewer was also ejected but was not seriously injured and was immediately taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies.

Investigators say methamphetamine was found at the crash scene. According to the affidavit filed with the court, they found a container containing 19 grams of meth, which is a very substantial amount, and another container with two grams inside. They also found, according to court documents, four cell phones.

Brewer was treated for minor injuries at York General Hospital and taken to the York County Jail.

The York County Attorney’s office assigned the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct the crash investigation.

There were initially eight charges filed against Brewer:

Attempted possession of 10-27 grams of methamphetamine, a Class 2 felony which carries a possible maximum sentence of 1-50 years in prison;

Motor vehicle homicide, a Class 3A felony, which carries a possible three years in prison with 18 months of post-release supervision;

Two counts of possession of a controlled substance, both Class 4 felonies which carry a possible maximum sentence of two years in prison with 12 months of post-release supervision;

No drug tax stamp, a Class 4 felony;

Operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, a Class 4 felony;

Willful reckless driving, a Class 3 misdemeanor;

Driving under suspension, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

In court documents, it is noted that Brewer has a criminal history which includes separate convictions for operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, assault on an officer, multiple assaults, theft, as well as drugs and weapons violations.

This week, in York County District Court, Brewer pleaded no contest to delivery of an exceptionally hazardous drug, a Class 2 felony; motor vehicle homicide, a Class 3A felony; operating a vehicle to avoid arrest, a Class 4 felony; and willful reckless driving, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Sentencing has been set for July 31. He is facing a possible cumulative maximum sentence of 55 years in prison.

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