The Nebraska bar owner who shot and killed a rioter in Omaha in a clear-cut case of self defense has been indicted on multiple charges, including manslaughter against 22-year-old Black Lives Matter protester James Scurlock.
The grand jury determined on Tuesday that Jake Gardner, 38, will face four charges including manslaughter, attempted first-degree assault, use of a firearm, and terror threats.
This comes months after Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially declined to file charges against Gardner, saying he had reviewed witness statements and video and believed the bar owner acted in self-defense.
Special Prosecutor Frederick Franklin said the grand jury reviewed additional evidence that Kleine didn’t have, including texts from Gardner’s phone, messages on his Facebook profile and his interactions with bystanders before coming into contact with Spurlock.
He, however, refused to provide specifics of what the new evidence shows except to say it “undermines” the self-defense theory.
“Evidence to reasonably be construed as an intent to use a firearm for purposes of killing someone,” he continued. “You will want to know what it is, and I can’t tell you about it. But what I can tell you is that that evidence comes primarily from Jake Gardner himself.”
It’s unclear how text messages or Facebook posts could undermine a self-defense “theory” when video of the incident clearly shows being attacked without provocation.
Of course, the new charges come after months of protests and pressure being put on the county attourney by BLM.