PROSECUTOR MAY SEEK DEATH PENALTY IN SIDNEY MURDER
Cheyenne County District Judge Derek Weimer says prosecutors can file amended 1st-degree murder charges against a Sidney man that would qualify him for the death penalty if convicted
53 year old Larry Martinez of Sidney is accused in the shooting death last July 15th of 30-year-old Mandy Kershman, also of Sidney.
Weimer’s ruling allows Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub to add a “notice of aggravation” to the murder charge that would allow the jury and a 3-judge panel…if Martinez is convicted…to determine if the death penalty should be applied.
Nebraska law includes a list of aggravating circumstances that can qualify a murder conviction for death. The one included by Schaub in his new filing against Martinez is a “substantial prior history of serious assaultive or terrorizing criminal activity including a previous conviction.”
Martinez is accused of confronting Kershman in a Sidney home, then shooting her because he was mad about a text message she’d reportedly sent him. He will be arraigned on the revised murder charge next Thursday. He’s also charged with felony use of a firearm.