Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate
court will not disturb a sentence imposed within the
statutory limits absent an abuse of discretion by the trial
Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of discretion
occurs when a trial court's decision is based upon
reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action
is clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and
Sentences: Appeal and Error. Where a sentence
imposed within the statutory limits is alleged on appeal to
be excessive, the appellate court must determine whether a
sentencing court abused its discretion in considering and
applying the relevant factors as well as any applicable legal
principles in determining the sentence to be imposed.
Sentences. In determining a sentence to be imposed,
relevant factors customarily considered and applied are the
defendant's (1) age, (2) mentality, (3) education and
experience, (4) social and cultural background, (5) past
criminal record or record of law-abiding conduct, and (6)
motivation for the offense, as well as (7) the nature of the
offense and (8) the amount of violence involved in the
commission of the crime.
___. The appropriateness of a sentence is necessarily a
subjective judgment and includes the sentencing judge's
observation of the defendant's demeanor and attitude and
all the facts and circumstances surrounding the
from the District Court for Lancaster County: John A.
Colborn, Judge. Affirmed.
Jeffrey Pickens and Kelly S. Breen, of Nebraska Commission on
Public Advocacy, for appellant. [300 Neb. 618]
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Melissa R. Vincent
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, and
Papik, JJ., and Dobrovolny, District Judge.
D. Steele pled guilty to one count of second degree murder
and one count of first degree assault for his involvement in
an armed robbery and shooting that left one victim dead and
another paralyzed. Steele, who was 17 years old at the time
of the offenses, was sentenced to 60 years' to life
imprisonment for second degree murder and to 40 to 50
years' imprisonment for first degree assault, with the
sentences to run consecutively. Because we find no merit to
the contentions Steele raises on appeal regarding his
sentences, we affirm.
Basis for Charges.
following details regarding the incident underlying
Steele's convictions are summarized from the factual
basis recited by the State at Steele's plea hearing.
April 18, 2016, at approximately 3 p.m., law enforcement
responded to a report of gunshots at a residence near 19th
and Euclid Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dispatchers relayed
to law enforcement that approximately eight gunshots were
heard in the residence and that "two black males"
were seen leaving the residence around the time of the
shooting. One was reported as wearing black jeans and a gray
hoodie with the letters "USA" on the back, and the
other was wearing jeans and a black "puffy" coat.
officers first arrived in the area, they located a black male
wearing black jeans and a gray hoodie with the letters
"USA" walking westbound a block or two from the
reported location of the shooting. This individual, later
identified as Xheronte Lewis, was detained by police and
admitted to being at the residence when shots were fired.
Neb. 619] Inside the residence, officers located two victims,
identified as Christopher Coleman and Jerry Griffis, both of
whom had sustained gunshot wounds. Officers also found a dog
that was suffering from gunshot wounds. Three small children
were also present in the residence.
who was found just inside the front doorway in the living
room, was pronounced dead at the scene. Griffis, who was
found in the kitchen, was transported to a nearby hospital
where he received extensive treatment for a gunshot wound
that passed through his spine. The dog was taken to an
emergency veterinary clinic where it died from its wounds.
autopsy on Coleman later revealed that the cause of his death
was a gunshot wound to the neck. Griffis was hospitalized for
approximately Wi months as a result of his injuries. He was
diagnosed with multiple gunshot wounds, a vertebra fracture,
paraplegia, "right and left hemopneumothorax,"