OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and a gun charge in the shooting death last year of a registered sex offender.
James Fairbanks, 44, entered the plea Thursday in the May 14 shooting death of 64-year-old Mattieo Condoluci, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Authorities have said Fairbanks showed up at Condoluci's door with a rifle and fired seven shots into Condoluci, a convicted sex offender for offenses in Florida and Nebraska.
Fairbanks didn’t know Condoluci, prosecutors said, but was hunting sex offenders when he shot the older man. Chief Deputy Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle pointed to internet searches Fairbanks had conducted before the shooting, including researching other cases of sex offenders being killed and the penalties incurred by people convicted in such cases. Fairbanks also searched for whether Nebraska’s death row offers a commissary, Beadle said.
Fairbanks’ attorney, Steve Lefler of Omaha, had suggested before the plea agreement that Fairbanks shot Condoluci in self defense when Condoluci lunged at him in the doorway. Lefler said Fairbanks had been searching for apartments when he discovered Condoluci’s sex offender status and went to Condoluci’s house to warn him to stay away from children.
Fairbanks faces 21 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced in July.