Convicted murderers want new trial granted

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 19:18:04-04

Two convicted murderers from Omaha are fighting to get back into court.  They say it's taking too long for their rights to be acknowledged.  Derrick Stricklin and Terrell Newman were sentenced to two life in prison terms plus 60 years in 2014.


The men were convicted by a jury of killing Carlos Morales and Bernardo Noriega in December of 2012 at an auto body shop at 40th & Lake St.  Both victims were bound and bagged before being shot in the back of the head because they robbed the men of a kilo of cocaine.


Newman and Stricklin have been filing court documents to get a post-conviction hearing, but say they aren't getting any response.  Newman's mother, Martha Newman, says it's been frustrating.


"Because I want my son to come home, I want him to come home, he's innocent, they're innocent. I want them to come home and it's hurting me every day," Martha explained.


Both men say they didn't do it, and there's no physical evidence putting them at the scene.


A 3rd potential victim was able to escape and identified the men.  They say police put him up to pointing out the pair as the shooters.


"We were totally convicted on lies,” Stricklin wrote in a letter to 3 News Now.  “I believe the state is blackballing us stopping people from talking to us in an attempt to hide the truth.”


They also claim they deserve a new trial because of conflicts with a juror and one of the prosecutors.


Judge Shelly Stratman currently has the post-conviction hearing under advisement and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine doesn't want to comment publicly until the decision is made.


The Nebraska Department of Corrections won’t let media interview inmates on camera.


They did have a hearing in April but it’s unclear when a decision will be made on a post-conviction hearing.  It is not uncommon for it to take several months.