Nebraska Man Pleads No Contest to First-Degree Murder



(7-14-14) A Nebraska man who's already serving a life sentence for shooting his ex-wife to death has pleaded no contest to killing the attorney who represented him in his divorce.

Hall County officials say 58-year-old Michael Petersen of rural Glenvil pleaded no contest to first-degree murder on Monday as part of a deal with prosecutors. In return for Petersen's plea in the Nov. 13 shooting death of 52-year-old attorney Todd Elsbernd, prosecutors dropped a weapons charge and agreed not to seek the death penalty.

Petersen was sentenced in May for killing 58-year-old Nancy Petersen, his ex-wife, outside her home in rural Buffalo County.

Defense attorney Jeff Pickens has said Petersen was bitter about the financial terms of his 2005 divorce, and he had lost much of his remaining savings to two scams.