Former wrestlers plead not guilty
All four former CSC student-wrestlers pled not guilty, Friday, to charges connected with a hazing incident in September.
Luke Zeiger, 24, of Glasgow, Montana; Chance Helmick, 21, of Hickman; Cooper Cogdill, 22, and brother William “Willy” Cogdill, 21, both of Chadron, all pled not guilty to one count of hazing, a class-II misdemeanor; and one count of third-degree assault, a class-I misdemeanor.
The four were arrested on Friday Oct. 13, with bonds posted at 10 percent of $10,000.
Dawes County District Court Judge Randin Roland set the pre-trial hearing for December. Possible dates for the hearing are Dec. 8, 12, or 15. The exact date has not been decided due to Judge Roland’s trial schedule.
Dawes County Attorney Vance Haug removed himself from prosecutor duties citing a conflict of interest, and instead assigned Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons as the prosecutor.
Zeiger is being represented by attorney Amanda Vogl of the Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Ossian, Vogl, and Snyder law firm. Helmick’s attorney is Dustin Garrison, of the Garrison Law Firm, Beatrice, while the Cogdills are represented by Jon Worthman, of the Worthman Law Office, Alliance.
Prior to the arrests, the four individuals were being investigated for their roles in a hazing ritual for new members of the CSC wrestling team. CSC and the Chadron Police Department conducted separate investigations of the incident. The college’s investigation led to the four being removed from the wrestling team, and expelled from school. Helmick and both Cogdills were initially expelled as of Oct. 5. Zeiger was expelled a week later, on Oct. 12.