Nikko Jenkins sentenced to death by panel of judges

Published: May. 30, 2017 at 12:07 PM CDT
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After meeting two weeks ago, a panel of three judges sentenced Nikko Jenkins to death Tuesday.

Jenkins was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder for the August 2013 shooting deaths in and around Omaha of Juan Uribe-Pena, Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger in three separate attacks. Kruger was Jenkins' final victim. Prosecutors say Jenkins pulled Kruger from her car, shot her four times in the street and then stole her vehicle.

Kruger's family kept their comments brief after the news their daughter's killer is heading to death row.

"We're just glad it's over with. It's been a long time. Too long."

The news was still sinking in for the family of Curtis Bradford who left the courtroom behind the Krugers. Curtis Bradford's mother, Velita Glasgow, spoke to WOWT 6 News immediately after the sentencing.

“I’m ready to go home and heal. That’s what I want to do. I’m tired and weary and I’m ready to go home. I don’t ever want to have to see this place again. I don’t ever want to have to see him again. And I’m ready to go home with my family now,” Glasgow said.

Curtis’ sister Temperance Ivory said the death penalty isn't enough.

"I am still angry about it because we'll never get Curtis back and my kids will never get to grow up being close to him like they could have,” said Ivory. “It hurts because Curtis is like our glue. He kept everybody together.”

Jenkins pleaded no contest in 2014, but his sentencing has been delayed for years because of concerns about his mental competency. The death sentencing will automatically face an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court, as is standard. Jenkins will be the 11th inmate on Nebraska’s death row.

Lawmakers abolished the death penalty in 2015, but a petition drive was started and organizers gathered enough signatures to put it to a vote. Nebraska voters reinstated the death penalty in November 2016.

The state hasn’t executed anyone since 1997 and has been unable to obtain a drug in the protocol to even carry out lethal injection.