Teen Killer Remains in Custody as Nebraska Debates Release to Parents

Omaha, Nebraska – A 15-year-old teenage killer in Nebraska will remain in custody for now as the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services seeks his release to his parents from a treatment facility in Lincoln. The teenager was only 13 at the time of the murder, which was described as planned and premeditated, unfolding in August of 2022 near 52nd and Curtis Street. The incident involved the armed teenager storming a home and fatally shooting a 19-year-old victim in what authorities have deemed a gang-related crime.

The Douglas County Attorney Chief Deputy expressed strong opposition to releasing the teenager back to his parents, citing concerns about the parents’ unawareness of their child’s involvement with gangs prior to the murder. Despite being in the Lincoln treatment facility for only seven months, the state argues that the teenager has made sufficient progress for potential reintegration into his parents’ care, who have since relocated to a new residence outside of their previous neighborhood following a shooting incident.

As experts testified regarding the teenager’s progress, discussions centered on whether the parents could effectively supervise their son, restrict his activities, monitor his associations, and enforce necessary precautions such as an ankle monitor. Prosecutors raised doubts about the lack of suitable facilities willing to accept the teenager if released, questioning the safety implications for the community.

The victim’s mother attended the court hearing, expressing disbelief at the prospect of her son’s killer returning to his parents’ custody. The hearing’s continuation until April 23 suggests a forthcoming evaluation of a safety plan by probation officials in the event of the teenager’s potential release. The case underscores the challenges of balancing rehabilitation with community safety in juvenile justice proceedings.