WEST POINT, Neb. -- A fourth person has pleaded not guilty to charges connected to the slaying of a Rosalie, Nebraska, man whose house was burned after he was killed.
Jenna Merrill, 31, of Oakland, Nebraska, entered her plea Thursday in Cuming County District Court to one count of accessory to a felony. Her trial was scheduled for May 8.
According to court documents, Merrill told a law enforcement officer that stopped a car in which she, Derek Olson, Jody Olson and Becky Weitzenkamp were riding that Jody Olson had been stabbed at a fight at the Bonanza Bar in Homer, Nebraska, and they were taking him to a Sioux City hospital.
Investigators later determined that the four had not been at the bar and that Olson had been injured during an altercation at the home of Ernest Warnock in rural Rosalie. Investigators later found clothing and a knife in a trash container near where Merrill was living with Derek Olson.
Derek Olson, 27, and Jody Olson, 48, both of Oakland, are accused of going to Warnock's home on March 10 to retrieve property belonging to Weitzenkamp. According to court documents, a fight broke out, and Warnock stabbed Jody Olson in the arm before Derek Olson stabbed Warnock several times in the neck and head and hit him in the head with a ball peen hammer.
Weitzenkamp, 42, of Oakland, is accused of buying a can of lighter fluid and driving Derek Olson to Warnock's home to set the house on fire after Warnock's death.
Warnock's body was found inside the burned rubble of his home on March 11.
An autopsy found that Warnock, 64, was dead before his home was set on fire. A dog trapped inside the house died in the fire.
Derek and Jody Olson both have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, accessory to a felony, use of a weapon to commit a felony and first-degree arson. Derek Olson is also charged with cruelty to an animal. Weitzenkamp has pleaded not guilty to first-degree arson and accessory to a felony. The three are scheduled to stand trial on March 13.