Man who fled from officers, wrecked vehicle with passenger dying, sentenced for motor vehicle homicide

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

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 was 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, Brewer was sentenced to the following:

  • Attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute methamphetamine, quantity being 10-28 grams, a Class 2 felony, 5-9 years in prison.
  • Motor vehicle homicide, a Class 3 A felony, three years in prison.
  • Operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, a Class 4 felony, two years in prison.
  • His operator’s license was revoked for two years for the operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and it was revoked for three months for willful reckless driving.
  • He was granted 255 days of credit for time already served in the York County Jail.
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