Gregory Dodds has been sentenced to prison for the stabbing death of a roommate. He faces 25 to 35 years for Second Degree Murder and another five to 10 years to be served after that for a weapons charge.
Dodds had initially been charged with First Degree Murder for the death of 22-year-old Vedant Patel. In September, he agreed to a deal, entering a plea of No Contest to the reduced charge.
Dodds lived with his brother Stephen Dodds and Patel near 105th and Sahler. In March 2012, Stephen Dodds returned home and found Patel dead in his bedroom. He had been stabbed to death. Stephen allegedly found a bloody knife belonging to Gregory in a toilet.
Police later found Gregory sitting in a vehicle, visibly upset and making comments alluding to the fact he was responsible. He said God told him to kill his roommate. They also said there were bloody clothes inside the vehicle.
Dodds' mental fitness to stand trial had been called into question. Doctors said he was insane at the time of crime but Nebraska law states that voluntary use of drugs is not a defense and Dodds had used marijuana and K2.
The victim was an engineering student at UNO. His family sent him to Omaha to pursue the American dream.
In court on Monday, the defense blamed the killing on K2, saying it made Dodds crazy; made him hear voices.
Patel’s mother and father made emotional statements in court, often breaking down in tears and crying out loud. At one point the victim’s father said he wanted to die.
Patel’s mother said the drug excuse was just a way to get his sentence reduced.
The judge did take into consideration that Dodds had no criminal history and that doctors had said he was insane at the time of the killing and that Dodds did not realize what the K2 was doing to him.
County Attorney Don Kleine said, “The defendant broke into his room stabbed him multiple times with the intent to kill and there isn't any mitigating factors or excuse from that standpoint. Whether he used alcohol or used drugs it doesn't allow for that to happen.”
Dodds could have faced life plus 20 years in prison. The Douglas County Attorney believes the got off easy.