An Omaha man, 18, was sentenced Wednesday to up to 65 years behind bars for shooting another teenager about a block from North High School.
Douglas County District Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf sentenced Kim Liech to 30 to 65 years in prison. He'll be eligible for parole in 17 1/2 years, and he won't spend more than 35 years in prison under state sentencing guidelines.
In November, Liech pleaded no contest to first-degree assault and weapon use in the March 30 shooting of Tyrus Harris.
Harris was shot in his leg, right shoulder and neck. It left him in a wheelchair, though the University of Nebraska at Omaha freshman is undergoing physical therapy and hoping to walk again.
The shooting "didn't kill us, but it definitely made us have to adapt to a whole different lifestyle," said Harris' mother, Melodie Harris of Omaha. She sobbed as Retelsdorf handed down the sentence. Tyrus Harris did not attend the hearing.
Prosecutors have said that Liech's younger brother and Harris' younger brother got into an argument earlier via text message and Facebook.
Harris stepped in, believing he and Liech were meeting to settle things through words or thrown punches. Instead, Liech opened fire.
"Mr. Liech is very lucky he's not here being sentenced for first-degree murder," Retelsdorf said. "The type of crime that was committed affected the victim's and the defendant's lives forever."
Liech read a letter to the judge expressing his remorse.
"I'd like to sincerely apologize to Mr. Harris," he said. "There is nothing I would ever want to do more than take the events back."
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