Omaha man gets life sentence for murdering real-estate agent

In addition to the life in prison sentence for murder, the judge also gave him 47 years for use of a weapon to be served after that.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 2:57 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The man found guilty of murdering an Omaha Realtor in December 2020 was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

Ross Lorello III, 44, was convicted in February of first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. The jury began deliberating at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, and returned the verdict at 1:40 p.m. that day.

In addition to the life sentence, the judge also gave him 47 years, to be served thereafter, for use of a deadly weapon. While that seems redundant, prosecutors often make those charging decisions in the rare case a pardons board one day would reduce the life sentence.

The state said Lorello still doesn’t take responsibility for the murder of Michael “Mickey” Sodoro, 70, who was an NP Dodge real-estate agent whose body was found in a rental property near 193rd Avenue and W Streets, in the Arbor Gate housing development.

On Dec. 28, 2020, Sodoro was supposed to collect the deposit and first month’s rent, according to details from an arrest affidavit. When no one could reach him that week, his son contacted law enforcement. The next day, deputies found Mickey Sodoro in the garage “inside a crawl space, covered by loose carpeting remnants.”

Prosecutors said Lorello shot Sodoro in the back of the head after a dispute over money.

Sodoro’s family told 6 News they’re glad the case is over but still don’t understand why Lorello, who will soon be leaving Douglas County Jail for state prison, won’t take responsibility. They said they knew he would like to see a life sentence, but also thought he might say he was sorry.

He did not. In fact, he doubled down, telling sentencing investigators that even after a jury found him guilty, someone else must have done it.

“He had no remorse — took no responsibility,” Brenda Beadle, chief deputy Douglas County Attorney said. “And his only request that he cared about was to not have the media in court.”

Sodoro was described as “one of the kindest and most generous people.”

Detectives said they believe Sodoro was simply trying to help out a guy with bad credit rent a house for his family — and then he turned on him.

Friends say the Realtor enjoyed the work. That’s how he crossed paths with Lorello, who planned to rent the home in which Sodoro was killed. Instead, he shot Sodoro in the back of the head and then tried to hide the body in a crawl space in the garage.

“In his delusional mind and his narcissistic ways, he thought that he was smarter than everyone else and lured this older man into this house — kill him, remove the body and then pretend he purchased the house for his family,” Beadle said. “I really think he thought he could get away with it.”

Investigators told 6 News that a key piece to getting a conviction was doorbell cameras from neighbors, which amounted to a bunch of video of the crime scene.

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