The two men first connected over a dating app. Then, police say, one concocted a plan to rob the other.

On March 12, 2018, police say, Brandon Shepherd ended up with 2 grams of methamphetamine. Michael Streich ended up dead.

Douglas County Judge Derek Vaughn ruled Friday that Shepherd, 23, of Omaha, will stand trial on charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. That ruling came despite the defense’s argument that Shepherd ran away before a co-defendant started shooting.

If convicted of both counts, Shepherd faces life plus 50 years in prison.

Streich, 40, was fatally shot once in the abdomen. His friend also was struck but survived.

Prosecutor John Alagaban argued that regardless of who pulled the trigger, Shepherd set up the events of the robbery, which led to Streich’s death. Nebraska law allows accomplices to be held accountable if someone dies in the commission of a robbery.

Larry Cahill, an Omaha police detective, testified that Shepherd planned to rob his “plug,” or drug dealer, and Dominique Hanks, 25, decided to join in.

Streich looped in twin sisters, Brittany and Briana Kelley, 23, who were supposed to cause a distraction but ended up waiting in the getaway car, Cahill said. The women both are charged with criminal conspiracy to commit robbery.

Sign up for World-Herald news alerts

Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Hanks told Cahill in a January interview that he and Shepherd went to Streich’s home near 33rd and Kansas Avenues in the early morning hours. Hanks pulled out a gun and demanded money, but Streich pushed the front door into the two men, attempting to block gunfire, Cahill said.

Hanks told Cahill that he fired several shots and Shepherd ran to the car.

Hanks has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Hanks was angry Shepherd ran, and the group drove back to Jackson Tower near 27th and Jackson Streets, Cahill said. At the Kelley sisters’ apartment, Shepherd laughed about the robbery while on a cellphone call and started smoking meth, Hanks said in the police interview. The group kicked Shepherd out of the apartment and dumped his phone in a bucket of water.

Hanks and the Kelley sisters later told police that Shepherd planned the robbery and had talked about it for days before the incident.

Shepherd later was arrested in Ohio. While in custody, police said, he called his boyfriend. In those calls, which were recorded and sent to Omaha police, Shepherd talked about the robbery and said he was there but didn’t do anything wrong.

His boyfriend mentioned the felony murder law in Nebraska and said: “You better resign yourself to the fact that you’re gonna do time on this,” Cahill testified.

Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliavalentine. Phone: 402-444-1068.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.