Local News

An August jury trial in a 2017 Keith County stabbing death has been postponed after prosecutors added more charges against a 17-year-old Denver boy accused in the case.

Amadeus L. Leroux was set for trial beginning Aug. 6 in Ogallala on felony counts of second-degree murder of 25-year-old John Fratis and using a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

Leroux was 15 when Fratis was fatally stabbed on March 28, 2017, in an Ogallala home Fratis shared with two other adults and two children.

Authorities say Leroux was drinking and doing drugs with the three roommates in front of the children when he stabbed Fratis during a fight. Fratis later died of his injuries.

Keith County Attorney Randy Fair on July 5 filed additional felony charges against Leroux of manslaughter and second-degree assault of Fratis and possessing a deadly weapon while committing a felony.

Leroux pleaded not guilty to the three newest charges Friday before District Judge Michael Piccolo, who set further proceedings for Aug. 9.

Now-retired District Judge Donald Rowlands denied a defense motion in October 2017 to transfer Leroux’s case to juvenile court. A three-judge Nebraska Court of Appeals panel upheld Rowlands’ ruling in July 2018.

Fratis’ roommates, Raylynn Garcia and Larry Derrera, were placed on two years’ probation that same month for intentional child abuse not resulting in injury. The two also were sentenced to time served in jail.

Garcia and Derrera were arrested in Alaska in late April on allegations of being fugitives from justice. Keith County sheriff’s deputies brought them back from Anchorage to Ogallala, where each is now accused of violating probation, according to the Keith County News.

Leroux remains free on 10% of

$1 million bail.

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