- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A convicted Nebraska man has been resentenced for shooting two teenagers in 1975, and will be released from prison next year.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1YF5u0A ) reports that Shakur Abdullah, formerly known as Rodney Stewart, was resentenced Monday, 41 years after the shooting. He will be released in January.

Prosecutors say Abdullah, who was 16 at the time, lured Thomas Ehlers and Daniel Evans for a drug deal and then shot them before setting the van they were in on fire. Ehlers was killed. Authorities say a bullet entered Evans’ skull and exited near his eye socket, leaving him blind in his right eye.

Abdullah was originally sentenced to death for the shootings, but the Nebraska Supreme Court reduced the sentence in 1977.

Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon’s decision is part of the required resentencing of juveniles who had previously received automatic life sentences.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that judges must have the option of sentencing juveniles to something other than an automatic life term. Nebraska lawmakers changed the sentencing range for juveniles convicted of murder to 40 years to life in prison.

Bataillon said Monday that he had to weigh the crime with the amount of time that has passed, as well as what Abdullah has done to better himself during his time in prison. Abdullah’s attorney, Douglas County Public Defender Tom Riley said his client had only been written up for bad behavior four times in the 40 years he has been in prison.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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