One of two teenagers who was shot to death last month as he sat in a sport utility vehicle in northeast Omaha was the suspect in a January 2015 homicide, police said.
James Star, 18, shot Tommie Harden and left him lying near the western edge of Adams Park, just east of John A. Creighton Boulevard and Maple Street, in northeast Omaha, police said.
After he was shot in the chest, Harden lay alive for about seven hours before he was found.
He was shot at 3:19 a.m. Jan. 3 when ShotSpotter, a network of microphones attached to poles that detect and report to police the sound of gunfire, went off. He was not found until about 10 a.m.
Harden, 52, died at Creighton University Medical Center.
“We now have probable cause to arrest a suspect in this case for murder” but cannot because he is dead, police Chief Todd Schmaderer told The World-Herald.
Within days of Harden’s death, police found Star with the gun used in the homicide and later gathered DNA evidence linking Star to the case, police said. He was not booked at the time as police sought additional evidence, Schmaderer said.
"Cases of this nature are such that we keep the prosecuting attorney informed," he said.
The Harden case was “exceptionally cleared” under U.S. Justice Department guidelines that allow an agency to clear cases in situations where a suspect is dead and thus can’t be arrested.
Star has not been ruled out as a suspect in another homicide, police said.
Jonathan Johnson, 21, was shot dead on Nov. 28 near 42nd and Spaulding Streets.
Star and Brandon Phelps, 17, were slain Dec. 9 in the same 2001 Ford Explorer in which a suspect fled from the Johnson homicide. They were killed in a parking lot of the Ernie Chambers Court apartments at 2107 N. 16th St.
Courvoisier V. Sims, 15, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony in connection with the deaths of Star and Phelps. Cousins Warren L. Anderson, 18, and Martin J. Anderson, 17, have been charged with accessory to a felony in the case.
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