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Douglas County judge calls for over a dozen in-custody deaths to be investigated

Posted at 9:03 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 02:47:39-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The presiding judge of the Douglas County District Court has called for a grand jury to investigate the circumstances surrounding the in-custody deaths of 15 people over the past few years.

Judge Horacio Wheelock directed a grand jury to probe the following deaths from 2018-2020:

"The court found that for good cause shown... that it would be beneficial, efficient, and cost effective to the citizens of Douglas County to consolidate the investigation and review of each incident by a single grand jury," a news release from the court stated on Monday.

Grand jury members will decide if charges should be filed in each case.

The grand jury was expected to be convened on Monday. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine will present evidence in each of the deaths.

By law, the work of a grand jury is done in secret and access to the proceedings is restricted.

Nebraska law requires that a grand jury be called when someone died while being apprehended by or while in custody of a law enforcement officer or detention personnel.

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