Prosecutors have transferred to juvenile court the case of the 15-year-old girl who paved the way for four young men to storm an Omaha marijuana dealer’s basement and kill the pot dealer during a botched robbery.
Emily Gusman admitted responsibility — the juvenile-court equivalent of pleading guilty — to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the July 2011 death of Kristopher Winters.
Gusman, now 16, and four men hatched a plan to rob Winters’ at his mother’s house near 50th and U Streets. The men sent her in under the ruse of wanting to buy marijuana.
Gusman, who testified for the state in three trials of Winters’ robbers, had acknowledged that this wasn’t her first robbery. She previously had gone in as the icebreaker in two other robberies of drug dealers.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said that fact had given him pause in considering what to do with Gusman, who originally was charged with first-degree murder.
However, Kleine said, it was clear that the young men involved in Winters’ death had been using the much-younger Gusman. They had so little regard for her that they all bolted from Winters’ home, leaving her behind.
A witness alerted Omaha police to Gusman, who was walking in a striped tube top that had Winters’ blood splattered on it. Her arrest – and subsequent cooperation – helped break the case, Kleine said.
She and one of the robbers — Drake Northrop — testified for the state. Northrop, 24, is awaiting sentencing on his conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Three other men have been convicted of first-degree murder and are facing mandatory life terms for those convictions. Nicholas Ely, 22, was sentenced to the term Friday. The gunman, Ryan Elseman, 20, received a life sentence — and another accomplice, Marcus Patton, 22, is scheduled to be sentenced in a few weeks.
Many of the robbers had claimed to be members of a gang called Omaha Mafia Bloods.
Winters’ mother, Kelly Winters, said she hopes that Gusman makes the most of the chance she has been given. She said prosecutors told her that Gusman most likely will end up being sent to an Arizona detention center.
Gusman, who turns 17 in January, will be under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction until she’s 19.
Winters’ sister, Victoria, pointed to Gusman’s previous robberies.
“The biggest thing we’re concerned about is that, as soon as she gets back here, she’s going to get back into the same (expletive),” Victoria Winters said.
Victoria Winters said her brother was much more than a marijuana dealer. He worked for a lawn-mowing company and always was at the ready to help others, she said.
Every sentencing – every case – has been difficult to sit through, she said.
“They say it gets easier as time goes by,” Victoria Winters said. “But it never does.”