Double homicide suspect appears in court

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Updated: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 06:41:57 CST

They are two of the grisliest murders in Central Nebraska history.  And Tuesday the cases against Michael Petersen were officially handed over to District Court, but it wasn't a smooth day for the courts. 

It wasn't until less than an hour before Michael Petersen was set to appear in Buffalo County Court that the County Attorney said his preliminary hearing would be moving to Hall County.  The reason they gave News 5? Convenience.

Later in the day, without his glasses and with disheveled hair, accused murderer Michael Petersen appeared in Hall County Court via video conference from the Hall County Jail.

Petersen was scheduled for preliminary hearings in both Buffalo and Hall County Tuesday.  With his attorney from the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy present, Petersen waived his right to both preliminary hearings in exchange for copies of the state's investigative reports.

Petersen faces first degree murder charges and use of a firearm to commit a felony in both counties for the murders of his ex-wife Nancy Petersen and Grand Island Attorney Todd Elsbernd.

If convicted in Hall County, Petersen could face the death penalty.  He is set to appear in court again on February 18th.

After the hearings, News 5 asked both Hall County Attorney Mark Young and Buffalo County Attorney Shawn Eatherton how they planned to work together moving forward.  They said they are still figuring everything out and it's too early for them to comment.