A jury on Wednesday found a reputed gang member guilty of first-degree murder in the September 2011 slaying of an Omaha father.
Loved ones of 19-year-old DeJuan Johnson said they were thankful that the jury convicted Antwan L. Jones, 26, on the charge with the harshest possible sentence.
The mother of Johnson's 3-year-old daughter said she hopes the outcome of the trial — a conviction on a first-degree murder charge — will give their daughter peace.
“When she gets older, maybe she will have some comfort, knowing that monster is behind bars for what he did,” said the girl's mother, Jennifer Tate.
Prosecutors said Jones stalked Johnson to a convenience store near 56th Street and Ames Avenue about 4 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2011.
Jones asked, “What's up now?” and shot Johnson in the chest and head at close range, prosecutors said.
Three witnesses, including the first police officer to arrive on the scene, identified Jones as the gunman.
Jones fled into a nearby apartment complex, where police later found him. Jones had changed his clothing, but officers found a jacket and the gun used to kill Johnson in a nearby Dumpster.
Prosecutors said it wasn't clear why Jones shot Johnson.
Jones' defense was that only witnesses could tie him to the shooting. His lawyer argued that prosecutors lacked fingerprints or DNA evidence.
The jury could have found Jones guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, which carry lighter possible sentences than a first-degree murder charge.
Jones also was convicted of use of a weapon to commit a felony and felon in possession of a firearm.
His sentencing was scheduled for December. Jones faces life in prison for the murder charge and a maximum of 50 years in prison for each weapons charge.
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