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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 30, 1995)
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_November 30, 1995
Irony marks testimony in Schlondorf trial
By Jeff Zeleny
In April 1993, University Police
Officer Robert Soflin helped save a
suicidal student’s life.
Seventeen months later, that same
student was charged with trying to
In the second day of Gerald
Schlondorfs attempted second-de
gree murder trial, Soflin recounted
Wednesday the graphic image of find
ing Schlondorf in a pool of blood on
his bed in Neihardt Residence Hall.
“I recall thinking that if I didn’t
stop that blood loss, this individual
was going to die right in front of me,”
The seven-year veteran of the Uni
versity Police Department applied
pressure to the wounds on
Schlondorfs wrist. Schlondorf sur
vived and was hospitalized for about
two weeks after the suicide attempt.
On Sept. 12, 1994, Soflin was
wounded in a shooting at 16th and R
streets. Schlondorf is charged with
nine felonies in connection with the
shooting and a chase through
Lincoln’s rush-hour traffic.
Schlondorf, 32, has pleaded inno
cent and not responsible by reason of
insanity. His trial is expected to con
elude next week.
Soflin was the only witness to tes
tify Wednesday. The trial was de
layed throughout the day by hearings
without the jury present.
Chief Deputy Lancaster County
Attorney John Colborn fded a motion
for mistrial during the morning ses
sion. Colborn said the 12-member
jury was potentially tainted by a con
versation overheard during a recess
in the trial.
Colborn received two reports that
members of Schlondorf s family, who
are sequestered witnesses, were dis
cussing the trial.
A member of the media informed
Colbom that Schlondorfs father and
brother commented on the testimony
in the presence of jurors.
The judge’s court reporter told
Colborn he also overheard the
Schlondorfs talking about the trial in
the courtroom halls, even though they
were ordered Tuesday not to discuss
“1 don’t know what else the jurors
have heard,” Colbom said.
For about one hour, District Judge
Bernard McGinn asked individual
jurors if they had been influenced by
statements allegedly made outside of
the courtroom. None of the jurors
said they had heard the conversation.
Schlondorf s father and brother
were reprimanded for discussing the
case. His father, Robert Schlondorf,
made an emotional statement to the
“It is a shame that none of our
family can be in the courtroom, but
news reporters can write and draw
pictures of it,” he said. “My son is on
trial here, but yet we cannot be in the
courtroom. Is that criminal justice?”
Colborn withdrew his mistrial
motion after the judge agreed to re
strict the Schlondorf family and other
potential witnesses from the third
See SCHLONDORF on 6
James Griesen, vice chancellor for student affairs, and ASUN Senator Malcolm Kass have pizza after Wednesday night’s
student senate meeting.
ASUN has few guests at Unity Dinner
By Kasey Kerber
A SUN held a Unity Dinner Wednesday
night to give international and minority
student groups a chance to share their cul
tures and ideas with the student senate.
But only four non-ASUN members
showed up at the potluck dinner.
They still had dinner, tasting a few cul
tural dishes prepared by senators such as
Indian rice and egg rolls... and Valentjno’s
Association of Students of the University
of Nebraska President Shawntell Hurtgen
had said the dinner would give a voice to
organizations that are sometimes not heard
in student government.
The dinner was to follow their meeting at
the Culture Center, which focused on cam
Guest speaker Ken Cauble, University.
Police chief, discussed how police could
work with the Residence Hall Association to
improve campus safety.
Five community service officers will be
added to the university police, Cauble said.
“Currently there is one community ser
See ASUN on 3
Engineers develop routes for construction
By Paula Lavigne
Senior Reporter ~
Highway engineers have a plan to avoid
game-day roadblocks when construction be
gins on Interstate 180 next fall.
The two-year, $14 million project will re
place a mile of pavement on the northbound
and southbound bridges of 1-180, downtown
Lincoln’s north access to Interstate 80.
Construction on the southbound lanes, which
run east of Memorial Stadium, will begin in
late November 1996 after the last home foot
ball game, Ken Gottula said.
Gottula, traffic engineer with the Nebraska
State Department of Roads, said heavy game
day traffic dictated the construction schedule.
“That was our primary thought from the
very onset — do it sometime other than the
football season,” he said.
About 37,000 cars use 1-180 on a football
Saturday, Gottula said, almost 10,000 more
than on an average day.
To avoid a traffic crunch, he said, the
southbound lanes should be finished by the
start of the 1997 football season in early Sep
The contractors will suspend their work
during the football season, he said, and begin
work on the northbound lanes in December
1997. The project should be finished by Sep
The bridges, which were built in the 1960s,
were weakened by increased traffic and salting
during icy months, he said, and are not up to
HWS Consulting Group, the engineering
See TRAFFIC on 3
at first forum
By Heidi White
Members of the UNL community finally
will be able to voice their thoughts about im
portant campus issues at a town meeting.
The first UNL Community Conversations
forum will be today from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
in the north lounge of the Nebraska Union. The
topic will be violence on campus.
The forums, which will be held at least twice *.
a semester, are open to all University of Ne
braska-Lincoln students, faculty and staff.
Those involved in campus organizations are
especially encouraged to attend.
Representatives from the Association of
Students of the University of Nebraska, the
Residence Hall Association, the Faculty
Women’s Caucus and the Athletic Department
will be among the panel participants for the
first meeting, said ASUN President Shawntell
“This opens it up to everybody who has an
opinion and really does bring out different
perspectives on issues that have been contro
versial,” Hurtgen said.
Larry Doerr, a campus ministry representa
tive who helped develop the forum, said five to
eight people probably would make up the panel.
A moderator will ask the panelists questions,
and anyone may speak after that.
Guidelines have been set to maintain order
at the meeting. They include:
• Keeping comments focused on the day’s
• Listening carefully before responding is
as important as speaking clearly.
• Openness and honesty are desired; no
relevant idea is out of order.
• Strong expressions of opinion are wel
come; personal attacks are not.
• Participants will speak for themselves
only, rather than for any group.
• Conversations are not debates. The pur
pose is to widen the horizons of participants’
thinking and understanding, not to score points
or to arrive at some final conclusions.
Hurtgen said the meeting should create a
real community feeling among participants as
well as educate them on both sides of the issue.
Because the meeting is a pilot project, Doerr
said, it will still be somewhat flexible in its
format. However, he said, the discussion guide
lines will be followed.
“It will not be a place where people will
CQme to lecture on something so those who
aferee will come to listen and those with oppos
ing viewpoints are left out,” he said.
Doerr said he hoped the forum would be
successful and that people could address criti
cal issues in an open, nonest setting without
“If it works, I feel that it will serve two
purposes,” he said—allowing people to talk in
a civil fashion and broadening perspectives.
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