- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that had faulted the state and Nebraska prison officials for releasing a prisoner who later shot and killed four Omaha residents.

The decision came in the case of Shamecka Holloway, who says she was shot in the back and injured by Nikko Jenkins while she was in her front yard on Aug. 24, 2013. She sued, saying prison officials and the prison’s health contractor showed indifference to Jenkins’ mental health needs and the likelihood that he posed a serious danger to others upon his release from prison.

But the high court agreed with a Douglas County district judge, who found that state officials had discretion in determining when to release Jenkins and in choosing not to civilly commit him.

The county prosecutor has not charged Jenkins with Holloway’s shooting, despite police saying they think Jenkins shot Holloway and Jenkins himself telling an Omaha television reporter in a letter that he was her shooter. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine did not immediately return a phone call Friday for comment on why no charge has been filed in the Holloway shooting.

Jenkins pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in 2014 for the shooting deaths of Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Juan Uribe-Pena, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger in three separate attacks in the weeks before Holloway was shot. The shootings occurred following Jenkins’ release from prison on July 30, 2013, after he had served nearly 11 years for various crimes.



Justice William Cassel wrote for the high court that the state “did not have dominion or control over Jenkins after he was released” and that its “options were limited to mandatorily discharging him or civilly committing him.”

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services has been criticized for its handling of Jenkins, who begged for a psychiatric commitment, cut his face with floor tiles and threatened to kill people while incarcerated.

Holloway’s attorney, Terrence Salerno of Omaha, said Friday that the high court’s ruling could stymie any efforts by the families of Jenkins’ other victims to sue over his release from prison.

“She’s very frustrated,” Salerno said of Holloway. “Because, not only does she suffer from the physical injury, but the emotional trauma of has made trying to return to a normal life extraordinarily difficult for her.”

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This story has been corrected to show the shootings occurred after Jenkins was released from prison on July 30, 2013, not July 30, 2014.

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