DAKOTA CITY -- Prosecutors have withdrawn their request for a judge's order to allow doctors to administer anti-psychotic medications involuntarily to a man accused of killing an Emerson, Nebraska, man.
Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Corey O'Brien on Thursday filed the two-sentence motion seeking to withdraw the March 28 request. No reason was given for the withdrawal, only that it was filed upon the recommendation of a state psychiatrist.
District Judge Paul Vaughan on Friday granted the request and cancelled an April 16 hearing.
A Nebraska Attorney General's Office spokeswoman declined further comment.
Surber, 28, of Wakefield, Nebraska, has pleaded not guilty in Dakota County District Court to charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He is accused of shooting Kraig Kubik with a 9mm firearm on Nov. 1, 2016, and dismembering the body.
A trial date has not been set. Vaughan has yet to rule on a defense motion to suppress evidence authorities gathered from Surber's home and car.
Surber has a history of refusing to take his medications while undergoing treatment at the Lincoln Regional Center. In March 2018, Vaughan granted a state request to allow doctors to force Surber to take his medications.
In April 2017, Vaughan ruled Surber was not mentally competent to stand trial and ordered him to undergo treatment at the Regional Center. A state psychiatrist has testified he believes Surber has a form of bipolar disorder.
In October, Vaughan upheld a psychiatrist's findings that Surber's mental competency had been restored and declared him mentally fit to stand trial.
Prosecutors believe Surber shot Kubik at Kubik's rural Emerson home. Kubik's right arm and right leg were found inside the trunk of a car at an abandoned farm 24 miles away on Nov. 2, 2016. The rest of Kubik's remains were found three days later in a culvert about four miles from the farmhouse.
Autopsy results showed that Kubik, 42, died of a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Brayan Galvan-Hernandez, 21, of Wakefield, was sentenced in December 2017 to 50-60 years in prison after pleading no contest to attempted second-degree murder and guilty to accessory to a felony in connection with Kubik's death.