Westrem waives preliminary hearing

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Jason R. Westrem

A man who is accused of opening fire last year on the Centennial Bridge has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

An arraignment for Jason R. Westrem is now scheduled for Nov. 17. He will be asked to enter a plea at that time.

Westrem, 38, Houston Lake, Missouri, is charged with nine felony counts including attempted first-degree murder in connection to a May 27, 2020, incident on the Centennial Bridge.

The bridge stretches across the Missouri River from Leavenworth to Platte County, Missouri.

Westrem is accused of firing at occupied vehicles on the bridge.

An affidavit prepared by a Leavenworth police detective alleges Westrem fired at least 15 shots from a handgun and at least 23 rounds from an AR-15 style rifle.

One person was wounded by gunfire. Westrem also was injured when he reportedly was struck by a vehicle.

Westrem appeared Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for what had been scheduled as a preliminary hearing, but defense attorney Clinton Lee said his client wished to waive the hearing.

Had Westrem gone through with the hearing, the prosecution would have been required to present evidence to establish probable cause.

After Westrem waived his right to the hearing, District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said the case was being bound over for arraignment.

Westrem is free on bond, but he is required to remain under house arrest with electronic monitoring.

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