Criminal Law: Convictions: Evidence: Appeal and
Error. When reviewing a criminal conviction for
sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the conviction, the
relevant question for an appellate court is whether, after
viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the
essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Evidence: Appeal and Error. An appellate
court does not resolve conflicts in the evidence, pass on the
credibility of witnesses, determine the plausibility of
explanations, or reweigh the evidence; such matters are for
the finder of fact.
from the District Court for Douglas County: Leigh Ann
Retelsdorf, Judge. Affirmed.
M. Hug, of Alan G. Stoler, PC, L.L.O., for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Siobhan E. Duffy
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch,
and Funke, JJ.
R. Jones was convicted of first degree murder and was
sentenced to life imprisonment. This is his direct appeal.
His sole assignment of error is that there was insufficient
evidence to support the conviction. We affirm.
Neb. 495] FACTS
March 11, 2009, Gary Holmes was shot and killed inside
BJ's, a convenience store near 42d Street and Ames Avenue
in Omaha, Nebraska. The shooter was wearing a black, hooded
sweatshirt and a ski mask. The shooter did not enter
BJ's, but instead opened the front door to the store and
fired 15 shots. Nine or ten of them hit Holmes, and several
hit and severely injured another customer. The shooting
occurred at approximately 2 p.m., and officers arrived at the
scene almost immediately. The incident was recorded on
surveillance tape and observed by several witnesses.
arriving at the scene, police made contact with Dontia
Bullard. Bullard lived in an apartment he described as being
"about 20 seconds away" from BJ's. Bullard, his
girlfriend, and his infant son were getting out of a cab in
front of the apartment when he saw two people in a red car
parked in a nearby alley. A young man dressed in black got
out of the car, cut through the backyard of Bullard's
neighbor, and walked toward BJ's. Bullard worked at
BJ's and recognized the man as a regular customer he knew
as "Grimey." Other witnesses testified that Grimey
was Jones' nickname.
testified that by the time he got to his apartment door, he
heard approximately 15 gunshots. He sent his girlfriend and
child inside and stayed by the door. From his doorway, he saw
Jones come back through the neighbor's yard and return to
the red car, carrying a ski mask and a gun. Bullard admitted
on cross-examination that he had contact with police within
minutes of the shooting and was questioned within hours of
the shooting, but did not immediately tell them about what he
saw. A few days afterward, however, Bullard contacted police
and gave a statement. He explained that initially, he did not
want to be involved, but decided to come forward because