from the District Court for Douglas County: MARLON A. POLK,
A. Shapiro, of Schaefer Shapiro, L.L.P., for appellant.
J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Melissa R. Vincent for
C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, MILLER-LERMAN, CASSEL, STACY, and
B. Dortch, Jr., was convicted in the district court for
Douglas County of first degree murder and use of a firearm to
commit a felony. The court sentenced Dortch to imprisonment
for life for first degree murder and to imprisonment for 5 to
10 [293 Neb. 515] years for use of a firearm to commit a
felony. Dortch appeals, and his sole assignment of error is
that there was insufficient evidence to support his
convictions. We affirm Dortch's convictions and
morning of September 17, 2014, Dortch walked into a jewelry
store in Omaha, Nebraska, carrying a gun. Several employees,
including the store owner, James Minshall, Sr., were working
inside. Dortch pointed the gun at employees as he threw a bag
over the counter and told them to " '[p]ick it up
and fill it up.'" When another employee went to open
a display case, Minshall walked from a workstation at the
counter to the back room of the store. Dortch noticed that
Minshall had gone to the back room; Dortch took a few steps
to get a better view of Minshall. Dortch asked what Minshall
was doing, and he then fired three shots in rapid succession
at Minshall. Dortch ran out of the store and fled the area on
foot. One of the bullets struck Minshall in the chest, and,
despite the efforts of other employees to revive him,
Minshall died soon after being shot.
was arrested the next day on a warrant related to a different
robbery, and during a police interview, he admitted that he
had committed the shooting at Minshall's jewelry store.
On October 21, 2014, Dortch was charged by information with
first degree murder under a felony murder theory which set
forth " the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate a
Robbery" as the underlying felony. The State also
charged Dortch with use of a firearm to commit a felony.
bench trial of the charges, the State presented testimony of
three employees who witnessed the events in the store on
September 17, 2014. During the testimony of one of the
employees, the court allowed into evidence a video from the
store depicting the events surrounding the alleged attempted
robbery and the shooting. The video was played for the court,
and various stills from the video were also allowed [293 Neb.
516] into evidence. The State presented evidence that
Minshall died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. The
State also presented evidence indicating that Dortch's
DNA was found on gloves, a gun, and a bag that were found
near the scene of the shooting.
State presented the testimony of a police officer who had
interviewed Dortch after he was arrested on a warrant
relating to another robbery. The officer testified that
Dortch admitted that he had entered Minshall's jewelry
store with the intention of robbing the store. According to
the officer, Dortch indicated that after Minshall retrieved a
gun, Dortch shot at Minshall.
cross-examining the State's witnesses, Dortch elicited
testimony to the effect that no merchandise or money was
actually taken from the store and that there was a handgun
located on the floor near Minshall's body after he was
testified in his own defense. Dortch admitted that on
September 17, 2014, he had walked into the jewelry store and
that he threw a bag over the counter and told the employees
to fill it up with merchandise. He testified that he saw
Minshall walk to the back room and " grab a gun."
Dortch testified that when he saw Minshall try to cock the
gun, he became scared and decided he did not " want to
do this no more," and that he was " just ready to
get up out of there." Dortch testified that when he went
into the store, he ...