Nachtigals change pleas to guilty

Jim and Paige Nachtigal, courtesy of the Harvey County Detention Center

 

By Adam Strunk

Jim and Paige Nachtigal both entered guilty pleas on counts of child abuse Friday afternoon.

In February of 2016, the couple was arrested on charges that they beat and starved two adopted Peruvian children, an 11-year-old and 15-year-old.

The couple eventually opted for a jury trial and was facing more than a dozen abuse charges against each of them.

Jim Nachtigal entered guilty pleas for three counts of level five felony child abuse. Paige Nachtigal entered guilty pleas for two counts. Each count carries a penalty of 31 months, minimum, in prison.

While the couple entered guilty pleas, they were what are known as Alford pleas. This means that while the pleas are listed as “guilty,” neither James nor Paige admit guilt with the crimes but acknowledge that with the evidence the prosecution has, it is likely they could convince a judge or jury beyond reasonable doubt of their guilt.

In exchange for the pleas from the couple, County Prosecutor David Yoder said he agreed to dismiss the remaining counts of abuse against the couple.

Sentencing for the couple will be held at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 at the Harvey County Courthouse.