14-year-old boy arrested in homicide case to be charged in juvenile court

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 11:47 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Wednesday that charges against the 14-year-old boy arrested after a fatal shooting Monday will be filed in juvenile court.

Kleine said Omaha Police briefed his office on the case Wednesday morning ahead of the boy’s court appearance this afternoon.

The teen, booked into the Douglas County Youth Center, will be charged with manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Mr (pronounced “Mister”) Parker, Kleine said.

OPD officers were sent to the area of 72nd Street and Country Club Road at about 7:27 p.m. Monday for a shooting.

Mr (pronounced “Mister”) Parker, 28, of Omaha, was transported to Nebraska Medical Center and pronounced dead.

The county attorney said he wasn’t sure yet what the relationship between the boy’s father and the victim was, and that the father declined to answer questions.

“If it’s absolutely self-defense, then there is no charge. But we’re not there yet,” Kleine said.

The victim was not armed, which makes self-defense an unlikely determination, he said, noting that the investigation continues.

There was no evidence of a pre-meditated act, and no sign that the act was related to gang activity or was any sort of retaliation, the county attorney said.

“There was a disturbance there. Somehow he ended up with a gun, and he fired these shots and then ran from the scene,” Kleine said, noting that the boy didn’t have the gun at the start of the incident.

The county attorney said his office considered the circumstances and the child’s background when deciding whether the case should stay in juvenile court.

“We don’t see anything in his history that shows he’s been involved in any criminal activity or any gang activity,” Kleine said.

He said he’s noticed an increase in juveniles in the court system facing violent crime charges and that there are more people being detained in the youth center for murder than have been for “quite awhile.”

“I have a pretty good understanding of what the problem is,” he said. “...The roots of the problem are education issues, economic issues, job issues, those kinds of things, family issues. And we need to do whatever we can to help people to prevent these kinds of things from happening.”

Keeping the case in the juvenile court system allows for the possibility of rehabilitation, he said.

“The whole goal of the juvenile court system is what’s in the best interests of the child,” Kleine said.

The juvenile court system allows jurisdiction over the youth through age 19, he said. That allows the court to potentially remove the juvenile from their home, put them on probation, detain them at the youth center in Kearney, take classes or receive therapy — and supportive resources can also be made available to the family as well, Kleine said.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.