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Utica man sentenced in connection to Lincoln man's stabbing death
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Utica man sentenced in connection to Lincoln man's stabbing death

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Polcyn sentencing

Donald Polcyn Jr. stands to the right of his attorney, Chad Wythers, at his sentencing in Seward County District Court. Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Jason Bergevin is at the opposing counsel table, with Stephen Jones' mother, Patricia Jones, directly behind him. 

A judge Thursday sentenced a 28-year-old Utica man to four years of incarceration in connection to the stabbing death of a Lincoln man at a New Year's Eve party at his home.

"I can say I'm sorry, and I know that's not going to cover it," Donald Polcyn Jr. said. "I know that I have to live with what happened."

Donald Polcyn

Polcyn

He said every night since, he's seen Stephen Jones in his front yard, trying to keep him awake until the ambulance gets there.

"Everything that happened that night was wrong, and I can't take it back," Polcyn said.

In March, he pleaded no contest to three counts of third-degree assault and obstructing government operations.

Each of the assault charges name Jones, a 39-year-old Lincoln man, as the victim. Polcyn fired a gun into the air and brandished a knife to threaten Jones before ultimately stabbing him early Jan. 1, 2020, then telling others not to tell law enforcement about the shot, according to prosecutors.

Stephen Dean Jones

Witnesses told deputies that an argument in the basement led to a physical fight between Jones and Polcyn's brother, and that Polcyn had tried to break it up before getting a knife and stabbing Jones.

Polcyn turned himself in when deputies arrived at his home in response to a 911 call at 1:10 a.m. 

Jones died about an hour later at Seward Memorial Hospital of two stab wounds.

Polcyn initially faced manslaughter and terroristic threats charges. But prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges to misdemeanors as part of the plea deal, making four years the maximum punishment. 

"Not sure how you put a number on an amount of time that the defendant should serve. A maximum of four years? Seems a little light for taking someone's life," she said, reading from her victim impact statement. 

She said the hole that is left in her heart can't be explained.

Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Jason Bergevin said Polcyn told a probation officer that he felt like he was being punished for defending himself and others that night.

Polcyn's attorney, Chad Wythers, argued for probation, saying the state obviously believed there may be a problem proving a felony case against his client.

"Those are the facts under which this court operates, that he stands convicted of four Class 1 misdemeanors. Not that he was charged with something else," he said. 

But in the end, District Judge James Stecker gave Polcyn the maximum, saying he believed he was minimizing Polcyn's actions by saying he had no other options.

Stecker said Polcyn involved himself in the fight, clearly used excessive force and failed to retreat when he could or to call 911.

"Your actions that resulted in the commission of these offenses also resulted in the death of Stephen Jones," the judge said.

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