Richard G. Harrison was born prematurely .
The 1-pound, 12-ounce baby arrived three months early, survived on a ventilator for weeks and didn't leave the hospital for months.
His parents, Jenice and Richard K. Harrison, called him their miracle baby.
Two decades later, their son died prematurely.
The affable 21-year-old student, former Boy Scout, church choir member and football player at Omaha Central High was killed in a vicious act inside his family's home, prosecutors said Tuesday in opening statements at the trial of the man accused of killing Harrison.
A man broke into Jenice Harrison's home near 58th Street and Grand Avenue, looking for something to steal.
He instead found Richard G. Harrison. The younger Harrison confronted the burglar and recognized him as a man he had met a couple of weeks earlier.
Harrison called out to Endre Turner by his nickname.
“Blake?” Harrison asked.
Turner shot Harrison in the face, prosecutors say. Harrison crawled inside his closet, bleeding profusely but still alive.
He gurgled something to the effect of, “Why'd you shoot me?” Turner went back to the closet and executed Harrison, authorities allege.
Turner — who was on parole in an earlier burglary conviction — did it all so he could steal a PlayStation 3 and a smartphone, Deputy Douglas County Attorney Tom McKenney told jurors.
Turner is charged with first-degree murder. His lawyer, Assistant Public Defender LeAnne Srb, asked jurors to keep an open mind, to make sure prosecutors meet their burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
As the trial began, there was little doubt about this point: Jenice Harrison and her son had a bond.
After his premature birth, doctors had some concerns that Harrison might have physical limitations growing up.
Far from it, Jenice Harrison testified. Harrison grew into a healthy, laid-back child. He went to Fontenelle Elementary and Monroe Middle School before settling in at Central. He loved playing sports and video games.
After graduating from Central, he went to the University of Nebraska at Omaha on a scholarship before switching to Metropolitan Community College to study graphic arts.
An avid gamer, he dreamed of designing graphics for video games.
He was low-maintenance, Jenice Harrison said. Mom called her son “dude.” Son playfully challenged his mom to Wii bowling.
“He was a goofball, very funny,” Jenice Harrison said. “When I would ask him what he wanted to do on his birthday, he would say, 'I just want to hang out with family.' ”
He was hanging out in the family house on Sept. 29, 2011. Having worked the night before at Marcus Midtown Cinema, Harrison was in his bed playing video games.
His mother popped her head in. A longtime employee at the Nebraska Medical Center, Jenice Harrison said she hadn't seen her son much. He worked nights, she worked days.
She asked him to mow the lawn. Then she made a date: The two would stay home Sunday — their only common day off.
“He said we could do Wii bowling together,” Jenice said.
That night, returning home, she was on her cellphone with her mother. She noticed her son's car was still in the garage. She called out to him: “Dude, where are you? Dude, I thought you had to go to work?”
She went to his bedroom — and noticed the TV off kilter.
She found her son crumpled in the closet, face down. She reached to try to stir him. His body was warm.
“I feel some blood on my hands,” she said. “I see blood in the closet. So I think he fell and hit his head on the TV stand.”
She called 911. An operator told her rescue squads were on the way.
“I was so elated,” she said. “They were coming and they were going to take him to the hospital and Richard was going to be fine. I just kept saying, 'Breathe, Richard, breathe.' ”
Medics arrived and slid him out of the closet and rolled him over. They ripped open his shirt and tried to shock his chest. He wasn't breathing, and a paramedic spotted brain matter.
A paramedic “told me she was sorry — that Richard was gone,” Jenice Harrison testified. “I said, 'Gone where?' ”
It sunk in. She screamed.
Two months later, an Omaha police detective was doing his usual checks for stolen goods at Sol's Jewelry & Loan near 72nd and Maple Streets. He found Harrison's PlayStation 3. It had been pawned for $75 by Jasmine Turner.
Detectives asked the store for surveillance video — and a parole officer identified the man next to Jasmine as parolee Endre Turner.
The couple had married a day after Harrison's killing.
Detectives hatched a plan to meet up with Turner at his parole appointment two days later.
As he met with his parole officer, Omaha police detectives searched Turner's north Omaha home. There, they found a .22- caliber pistol — matching the caliber of bullets used to kill Harrison — and a cellphone charger.
Police, meanwhile, asked Turner to empty his pockets.
“Is this what you're looking for?” he said. He handed them a cellphone — Harrison's cellphone.
Caught with the victim's items, McKenney said, Turner confessed to the crime.
He relayed the reason for the burglary: His wife needed prenatal vitamins. And the reason for the shooting: Harrison had called Turner by name.
The killing was the cruelest way her son could have died, Jenice Harrison said.
“He was an easygoing spirit — an appeaser, a peacemaker,” she said. “As Richard's mother, I never saw him angry ... ''
Her voice trailed. She sighed and looked up at the ceiling.
“He would rather help you solve your problem than fight.”