Omaha man sentenced for shooting OPD officer in 2018

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha man was sentenced Thursday to at least 96 years in prison for shooting an Omaha Police officer during a 2018 traffic stop.

John Ezell Jr. shot and injured Omaha Police Officer Ken Fortune during a September 2018 traffic stop and was himself shot by other officers returning fire, police records state. Initially charged with attempted murder, Ezell pled “no contest” in January to four felony counts, including assault and assault of a first-responder.

Douglas County District Court Judge Kimberly Miller Pankonin sentenced Ezell to 26-30 years for one count of attempted assault on an officer, 40-45 years on one count of assault on an officer, 10-16 years on one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and 20-25 years on one count of being a prohibited person with a gun. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.

The charges each carried a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison. With the gun charges, he faced a maximum of 250 years.

Because of Nebraska Good Time Law, he will likely serve 48 years minus the 1,326 days, or 3.6 years, he has already served.

A few months after the incident, Brandon Richey pleaded no contest to operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

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