- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska man on Tuesday was found guilty of murder, the third person to be convicted in the slaying of a 51-year-old Columbus resident during a botched robbery.

The office of Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a news release that 31-year-old Eric Henry faces a mandatory life sentence. Henry also was convicted of using a deadly weapon and of conspiracy to commit robbery. The jury began deliberations Monday evening after five days of testimony.

Steven Jorgensen was stabbed and beaten to death in his home on May 17 last year. Kimberly Henderson, 32, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month, and 27-year-old Quentin Critser, of Lincoln, did the same in December. They haven’t been sentenced yet.

Henry’s attorney, Mark Sipple, said in court that jurors should not believe the testimony by Henry’s two admitted accomplices, the Columbus Telegram (https://bit.ly/Qa3lvM ) said. Henderson and Critser said Henry stabbed Jorgensen several times. Henderson admitted stabbing Jorgensen in the neck, and both testified that Critser used brass knuckles to punch Jorgensen’s head several times.

Prosecutor Sandra Allen said Henry ultimately chose his accusers because of the life he led in the drug and criminal community. Allen said Critser and Henderson were part of that culture of felons, drugs addicts and murderers.

“They’re no angels,” Allen told jurors.

In his closing argument, Sipple reminded jurors that the prosecution presented no forensic evidence placing Henry at the murder scene.

“Not a hair, fiber, blood, DNA or prints” put Henry in the house, Sipple said.


Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com

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