An Omaha man who terrorized a family decades ago will soon get out of prison. But before that happens, the victims want to make sure the parole board hears the full story of what he did and said in 1987. They believe he'll strike again.
A year-and-a-half ago, Rick Morrow finally came back home. He lives in the north central part of the state.
Reporter: “Did you have reservations coming back to Nebraska?”
Rick Morrow: “A little bit.”
It was a struggle for survival in the 1980's that made him leave in the first place.
Reporter: “You look pretty good for a guy shot three times.”
Rick Morrow: “Ha! It was a while ago.”
Rick Morrow's heart stopped beating that morning in 1987.
At the time, his 5-year-old daughter Jessica didn't think she'd ever see her father again.
“I remember hearing that he had died,” she explained to WOWT 6 News from her East Coast office via Skype. “I didn't realize that when they are revived – they're not dead.”
Jessica slept through the ordeal, but remembers running to the neighbor's house with her mom and 10-year-old sister. “My sister and I were downstairs. We had bunk beds in the basement.”
It was July 1987.
A man cut the kitchen screen to the Morrow home at 37th and Browne, severed the phone line and climbed into the place with a nearby ladder.
“Who would have ever thought that at 4 in the morning, “ recalled Rick Morrow, “The bedroom door would squeak open – and some huge man would say: 'There you are. Now I can kill you.' And he fired a round between us.”
The family didn't know the intruder, who was later identified by police as 27-year-old Darwyn Minton.
Minton shot Rick Morrow in the head – and said he planned to assault his wife and their two daughters before slitting their throats.
For the next 45-minutes, Rick Morrow was in and out of consciousness – but he remembered he had two guns by a dresser-- four feet away – and only one was loaded.
He waited to make a move. “There was no light. If you were going to grab one, you better grab the right one.”
He fired one shot that took off some of Minton's fingers, and struck him in the jaw.
His wife – who was being assaulted -- got the suspect's gun and ran to the neighbor's for help.
Months later – after a plea bargain and no trial – a judge sentenced Minton to 35-to-55 years in prison.
On Thursday, Darwyn Minton goes before the parole board at Omaha Community Corrections. The victims believe he will strike again. It's not based on a hunch, but what he said that day at sentencing.
Morrow recalls: “Minton gets up and says to the judge, '27-years to parole?' Judge says, 'Yes sir.' Minton said, ''I can do that.' Judge is taken back. Minton then said, '27-years. I can do that. I'll still be young enough to do this again when I get out.'”
Minton is 54-years-old.
“I was a very bad time for all of us,” said Jessica. “And we just want to avoid anyone else having to deal with that. We really wanted to warn people."
Even if Darwyn Minton is denied parole this week – his mandatory release is June 10.
Reporter: “What would you like to see happen?”
Rick Morrow: “I'd like to put him in the pen for the full 55-years, but I know that won't happen.”
Rick Morrow is determined to share the story of his concerns from that morning in 1987, so the parole board can make an educated decision. "If there's any good to be done by something, you have to do it."
The family is also following a number of bills in the legislature. They want to make sure future inmates who get out are tracked.
Since Darwyn Minton's mandatory release is coming up in June, he is staying in a less secure facility across the street from the Omaha Correctional Center. That often happens for inmates who are getting close to being discharged.
Rick Morrow plans to speak at the parole hearing on Thursday.