Omaha man reaches plea deal in staged Onawa shooting


May 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Omaha World-Herald reports an Omaha man whom authorities say played a role in a staged shooting in Onawa on March 8th, has plead guilty to some of the charges originally filed against him. 19-year old Joseph A. Roberts agreed to plead guilty to extortion and reckless use of a firearm, in exchange for two other charges being dropped. The deal involves Roberts receiving a suspended 5-year sentence and 5-years of probation, to be served concurrently. The arrangement has yet to be approved by a judge.

As we previously reported, 32-year old Darren Hieber and 24-year old Brady Chapman were arrested in connection with a February 5th shooting at Hieber’s trucking business. Hieber told police he was shot in the leg while interrupting a burglary. Police say Hieber devised a scheme to have Chapman, his employee, shoot him with a .22-caliber rifle, to distract him from his personal problems. The Omaha World-Herald reported Hieber missed his estranged wife, and hatched the plan to try and get her back.

Authorities say Hieber was shot again on March 8th, after conspiring with Roberts and another Omaha man, 19-year old Timothy Culley, to have that event staged in-part, so the trio could allegedly extort money from Hieber’s family. Heiber and Culley have both entered pleas of not guilty in connection with the incident.