Update: Aaron Shepherd Gets 90-120 Years For Brutal Assault

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

"She was raped, hit with a rock in the head many times, beaten and left for dead," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

"It’s hard to comprehend. It’s not something you’re able to understand, why somebody would do this to another person."

Kleine said after the beating and assault, Shepherd admitting to thinking she was dead as he and a friend left her in an Omaha alley.

"I mean, she was unrecognizable," said Kleine. "What she went through, it's a miracle. It's a testament to her, her family, the strength that she has and the will to live and the courage she's shown throughout this process."

Shepherd pleaded guilty to attempted murder, sexual assault, and use of a weapon.

Prior to his sentencing Tuesday, Shepherd told the judge, "I just want to say I'm sorry and I take full responsibility."

He continued, "I made a mistake. I'm not a bad person. I made a bad mistake."

Judge James Gleason gave him to 90 to 120 years. Shepherd won't be eligible for parole for 45 years. He will get credit for 265 days served.

Schroeder had given Shepherd's friend a ride home from a party in Elkhorn the night of the attack. That man, Sam Irvin, is currently serving 20 to 48 months as an accomplice. He copped a plea deal for lying to investigators in the case.

After Shepherd's sentencing, his mother, Rita Shepherd said, "He’s a good kid. He has a good heart. And the thing that got him in trouble was going to help his friend."

She continued, "Sam Irvin set that thing up. Sam Irvin let it go. And Sam Irvin like the normal little white boy got his hand slapped and walked away, and the black kid as usual got punished."

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine responded, "That's absurd. It's just totally ludicrous. It's not even worth addressing. There's nothing to that at all."

He said the evidence, including condoms, a palm print found on Schroeder's car and computer records all pointed to Shepherd as the attacker.

Kevin Shepherd, vowed to fight for his son, a new father who was described in letters to the judge as a mentor to fellow hemophiliacs.

"He teaches these kids how to self-infuse the medicines that they need to survive on," Shepherd said. "He's been a pillar of that community. Nothing was taken into account."

Schroeder was in court, but she and her family members declined comment afterward.

Brandi Preston had a few words to share about her best friend. "She's the strongest person you'll ever meet. She's doing everything she can to help other people."

Kleine said he was satisfied with the sentence. "It's a first-degree murder case but for the fact of her courage and tenacity and strength and will to live."

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