A 35-year-old Newburg man faces up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000 after being found guilty of harrassment by a Phelps County jury for threatening to have paid a hired killer $80,000 to kill the victim.

A jury of 7 men and 5 women deliberated for just over 2 hours before reaching a guilty verdict following the one-day trial of Larry A. Bramel in Phelps County.  Bramel was charged in 2017.

The evidence introduced at the one-day trial showed that Bramel made threats in person and via text message. The victim testified that Bramel confronted her outside a home in St. James, and he proceeded to tell her that he had sold his home and paid $80,000 to hire individuals to murder her. A second witness testified that the next day Bramel sent him a text message also suggesting that the victim would soon be dead. A deputy with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department also testified that the victim was terrified when she made the report later that day. 

The defense argued to the jury that Mr. Bramel had never made the threat, but they were unable to explain why Bramel had sent the text message to the other individual. 

In his closing argument to the jury, Phelps County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Brad Neckermann told the jury that in today’s world, “we cannot take these threats lightly, particularly when they are so specific and targeted.”

Sentencing in this case is set for June 7, 2018. Judge William E. Hickle, who presided over the trial, could sentence the defendant to up to 1 year in jail and/or impose a fine of up to $2,000.

“I am satisfied with the outcome. The jury obviously believed the victim’s testimony about what had occurred, and hopefully this can bring some closure to her,” Neckerman said.