Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder case against an Omaha gang member accused of killing a man following a March 2016 confrontation at the Douglas County Courthouse.
Bernard “B.J.” Turner Jr., 22, no longer faces charges in the death of Jarrell Haynes, 22.
But the dismissal doesn’t mean that Turner will go free, Deputy Douglas County Attorney Chad Brown said.
Authorities have “holds” on Turner from federal court and from an attempted murder case in Aurora, Colorado, Brown said.
Brown said he dismissed the Omaha murder case after a witness declined to cooperate and testify about the buildup to Haynes’ killing.
In March 2016, Haynes had attempted to attend a trial on the killings of two of his friends and fellow gang members — Dexter Joseph and Marcel Lovejoy. However, he wasn’t allowed in the courtroom because he didn’t have identification. (Charles Trotter was later convicted in the killings.)
About 9:20 a.m. that day in a courthouse hallway, Haynes’ family members say Turner threatened Haynes over a case unrelated to the deaths of Haynes’ two friends. Prosecutors had been attempting to have Haynes testify against two other gang members in a gun possession case. However, Haynes had not shown up for pretrial meetings with prosecutors.
Shortly after that courthouse confrontation, Haynes was standing outside his grandmother’s house at 1634 Victor Ave. when a dark-colored car drove by and someone inside opened fire. Haynes was mortally wounded.
Authorities later charged Turner with Haynes’ killing.
Brown said prosecutors still have the option to refile charges against Turner, should the reluctant witness agree to testify.
Turner is wanted in connection with an attempted murder of a man in Aurora, Colorado. The man was shot several times but survived.
Brown said Turner is expected to remain in custody until that case and a federal court case are resolved.
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