Plea deal for Michael Petersen

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By Jack Bowe


Updated: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:53:20 CST

A plea deal announced Monday will keep accused double murderer Michael Petersen off of death row.

The Glenvil man entered a plea of No Contest Monday to a charge of first degree murder in the shooting death of Grand Island attorney, Todd Elsbernd.
As part of the plea deal, the state will no longer seek the death penalty in the case. The state also dismissed a charge of use of a weapon.

Sentencing will be set at a later time by District Judge John Icenogle. In May, Judge Icenogle sentenced Petersen to life in prison without parole in Buffalo County for the shooting death of  his ex-wife Nancy Petersen. Michael Petersen had pleaded no contest to First Degree murder in that case.

Investigators say after Michael Petersen shot his ex-wife in Buffalo County, he returned to his home in Glenvil and switched cars. Petersen then left his home and went to Grand Island where he shot his former lawyer Todd Elsbernd outside of his downtown law office.

Elsbernd's former colleagues gave this statement today:

"We're glad that this one step in the process is completed and there's no need for a trial, and we know the family of Todd is glad too. Every time something like this happens, we realize how much we still miss him."