A 51-year-old Omaha man was sentenced to 30 days in the Sarpy County jail and 24 months probation Thursday after being convicted of motor vehicle homicide.
Jonathan Westbrook ran a red light on Sept. 10, 2011, and collided with a motorcyle on which Nicole Locke, 35, of Omaha, was a passenger. She died of her injuries a month later.
Sarpy County District Court Judge Jeffrey Funke could have sentenced Westbrook to up to one year.
Defense attorney C.G. Jolly said Westbrook “feels absolutely horrible for Nicole Locke and her family.” Westbrook has repeatedly stated that he would trade places with Locke if he could, Jolly said.
“I was hoping Judge Funke would give Jon probation because his actions of running a red light was a pure accident,” Jolly said. “He wasn't drinking and driving and he wasn't committing some other crime. He was at work and he made a terrible mistake.”
Four witnesses testified at trial that Locke was a passenger on her husband's Harley-Davidson motorcycle when the 1996 Kenworth semi-trailer truck Westbrook was driving ran a red light and collided with the bike at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 370. The driver of the motorcycle, Tony Locke, survived his injuries. Locke said he and his wife of barely 18 months were going home from church, traveling east on Highway 370, about 9 p.m. when Westbrook ran the red light on the east exit ramp of I-80 that leads to Highway 370.
Nicole Locke was in a coma for a month before she died at Creighton University Medical Center. She was a labor and delivery nurse at Bergan Mercy Hospital.
Westbrook was found guilty by a six-person jury after an earlier panel failed to reach a verdict.
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