Gardner has yet to surrender following indictment in Scurlock shooting death

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 3:48 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A day after the grand jury for the shooting death of James Scurlock issued its indictment, the inmate roster at the Douglas County Jail did not include Jake Gardner.

So what’s next?

Special Prosecutor Frederick Franklin said he had plans to contact Gardner’s attorney to schedule some sort of surrender, but 6 News hasn’t heard back from either of them to find out what’s in the works.

If Gardner is out of state and arrangements can’t be made to turn himself in, an arrest warrant would be issued, and the extradition process would begin.

Following the grand jury’s indictment, the 38-year-old Gardner is facing four charges from manslaughter to terroristic threats. A guilty conviction on the manslaughter charge alone carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Scurlock, 22, died from a single shot fired by Gardner on May 30 when a big crowd took to the streets of downtown to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Gardner was armed when protesters came by his Old Market bar.

Investigators say he was concerned someone was going to break out his windows — and that there were several confrontations. Scurlock jumped on Garder’s back after the business owner fired two shots at two other people who had done the same thing.

The special prosecutor said Gardner’s own words punched holes in the self-defense claim; evidence from his cellphone, Facebook messages, and camera located inside his bar didn’t support it.

Scurlock’s family called Tuesday’s indictment the first step toward a conviction — and a reminder to protesters that they can’t cure violence with violence.

“I grew up in violence," James Scurlock II said. "There’s no way that’s a cure. You don’t heal the sick by making them sicker. The medicine is the communication, understanding, and find out where each other comes from. Each one teaches one — that’s the motto in north Omaha. That’s the cure for this.”

Franklin said Tuesday that if he knew where the Gardner was, he wasn’t going to tell us.

A Twitter account appearing to belong to Gardner had activity as recently as this week but has since been deleted.

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