- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An Omaha man who police say killed an unintended victim has been given 40 to 50 years in prison.

Douglas County District Judge James Gleason sentenced Kevin Mejia, 23, on Tuesday, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1NAZNtO ) reports. Gleason pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a weapons charge after prosecutors lowered the original homicide charge from second-degree murder.

Prosecutors say Mejia and an accomplice, James Vega, 24, drove to an Omaha house in October 2014 because they were angry with someone over a drug deal. Mejia fired twice at the house, and police say the man who was struck in the back of the head, Jose Fabila, 23, wasn’t the man Vega and Mejia were upset with.

Family members remember Fablia as a loving father of a young daughter. Prosecutors decried the senseless violence in the case.

“When people get it in their head they want to commit these drive-by shootings, it has real-world consequences,” said Matt Kuhse, deputy Douglas County attorney. “You have no control over where that bullet ends up. You not only ruin someone else’s life, you ruin your own.”

Mejia will serve 20 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Under state law, he could be released in 25 years, absent parole.

Vega also was sentenced Tuesday. He was given three to four years as an accomplice.

Charges were dropped last year against a woman who was accused of driving a backup car that night. Another alleged accomplice, Matteo Kundra, 20, awaits trail.

The surveillance system of a neighbor recorded the shooting and led police to the suspects.


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

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