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Lincoln Police briefs, Dec. 5

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A man allegedly impersonating a funeral director was arrested when he tried to take a deceased woman’s property, Lincoln Police Officer Katie Flood said. Terry Kurtzhals, a 58-year-old Lincoln resident, walked into the Wadlow Rozanek Funeral and Cremation Services on 5200 R St. and asked for the engagement rings of Jessica Johnson, a 34-year-old woman who died on Nov. 20. Kurtzhals was dressed in a suit and wore a nametag that read “funeral director.”

Flood said the desk workers informed Kurtzhals that property of the deceased can only be obtained by the next of kin. As the conversation continued, the workers asked Kurtzhals about his history as a funeral director. Kurtzhals said he was “from a small town.” As he was asked more questions, he became agitated, police said. A desk worker then called the police.

When the police arrived, Flood said, they interviewed him and discovered that Kurtzhals had in fact worked as a funeral director – but his license was revoked in 1996. Flood said Kurtzhals was engaged to Johnson, and he wanted the rings back. The two rings were worth about $500. He was jailed on charges of impersonating a funeral director.

“This is something that I’ve never seen before,” Flood said.

Flood said the police found more information when they looked at his criminal record. Kurtzhals was imprisoned for felony possession of burglary materials and released in January. On Nov. 6, a desk worker in the Lincoln Hall of Justice saw Kurtzhals wearing an “I voted” sticker and notified police. They looked at the voting records and found that he did cast a ballot. He was charged for voting as a felon.


On Nov. 25, Lincoln police were called to a house on the 3700 block of Northwest 50th Street. Someone had broken in through the house’s garage and a number of items were missing. The police report states that four flat-screen televisions, a computer, printer, sewing machine, violin and boxes of documents were stolen from the house. Flood said a neighbor called the police when a car parked there numerous times. The owner of the house was hospitalized for most of November, and the neighbor was concerned to see an unfamiliar car there. Police tracked down the car’s owner, Benjamin Sovereign, 36, of Lincoln, and searched his home. They found some of the missing items including the violin and the sewing machine.

When Sovereign was arrested on Tuesday, police found 12 grams of methamphetamine in his jacket pocket.

Sovereign was cited and jailed for burglary and possession of narcotics.

The spouse of a deceased LPD officer owns the house, Flood said. Some of the documents stolen may contain police-related material.


A Dodge Journey was pulled over Tuesday night for speeding on Interstate 80. When the deputy stopped the car, he reported a strong smell of marijuana, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said.

The deputy searched the car and found 4.66 pounds of high-grade medical marijuana. Wagner said the marijuana is worth slightly less than $25,000.

Stanley Burt, 37, of Ukiah, Calif., and Tynesha Kethchum, 33, Sacramento, Calif., were arrested and jailed for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

—Compiled by Daniel Wheaton


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