Michael Petersen Gets Additional Sentence for Killing Attorney

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Updated: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:55:52 CST

Two murders, three cities, now nine months later, both cases are closed. Convicted killer, Michael Petersen, received his sentence for shooting and killing Todd Elsbernd last November. News 5's Lauren Conley was in the courtroom Tuesday and has the details.

It was a murder spree that shook the tri-cities. November 13th, 2013, Michael Petersen shot and killed his ex-wife, Nancy Petersen outside of her home near Kearney.

Authorities say he then went to his home in Glenvil, switched cars, traveled north to Grand Island, where he shot and killed Todd Elsberned outside of his Grand Island law firm.

By the night of November 14th, authorities arrested their prime suspect, Petersen; who shockingly admitted to both murders.

"It really brings home how fragile life is," said Hall County Attorney, Mark Young. 

Tuesday, family and friends of Todd Elsbernd's gathered at the Hall County Courthouse to find out the fate of Petersen. The man who took two lives too soon.

"The reality of it is if you take a life, I'm going to be pretty fired up," Young said.

Hall County Attorney Mark Young accused Petersen of being cold and cavalier over the murder, after Petersen's attorney outlined the events that lead up to the double murder. Explaining that Petersen felt abandoned after Nancy divorced him. Then blamed his attorney, Todd Elsbernd for miscalculating premarital assets. Eventually deciding he wanted to "get even."

"When your justification for this very deliberate, scary ambush murder is so far, I'm going to be coming after you," Young said.

Michael Petersen will spend life in prison for the murder of Todd Elsbernd. That sentence is to be served consecutively to his sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder of his ex-wife, Nancy Petersen in Buffalo County. Something that Hall County Attorney Mark Young says he was hoping to see.

"Separate victims, separate crimes deserve separate punishments," Young added.

Petersen entered a plea of no contest in July. As part of that plea deal, the state could no longer seek the death penalty. Though Young says he believes Petersen deserves to die.

"I want him rotting, I want him sitting in the stall forever," Young said.

Michael Petersen did not apologize in court Tuesday. Though his lawyer told the Judge on his behalf that Petersen took the plea deal, in part, so his son would not have to testify in court.