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Family of murdered Army sergeant wants tougher penalties for witness tampering

Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-13 23:46:04-05

A man suspected of killing a soldier visiting Omaha on leave is now free after charges were dropped Tuesday. 

The charges were dropped when the state's key witness refused to testify in court. 

27-year-old Larry Goynes was released from the Douglas County Jail after charges were dropped or first-degree murder and weapon use charge against him.

The father of Kyle LeFlore, Kay, says he's frustrated that charges were dropped. He says too often, witnesses are afraid to come forward. He also believes the state's key witness was repeatedly threatened. 

"The gangsters, people that are getting away with murder, because people won't speak up. They won't come forward," said LeFlore. 

"This is not somebody selling weed on the corner. This isn't somebody selling pills," said LeFlore. "This is murder when you don't come forth and you witness a murder you are just as bad as the criminal." 

The family plans to advocate for stricter laws to prevent witness tampering. They plan to work with State Senator Justin Wayne to push new legislature. 

"When a witness comes forward, depose them," said LeFlore. "Then use that deposition against them, so that they can throw them in jail if they recant their testimony."

Under Nebraska law, witness tampering is a Class IV felony with a penalty up to two years maximum in jail. The LeFlores want witness tamperers to be charged as an accessory to the original crime. 

Goynes had been accused of killing Army Sgt. Kyle LeFlore January 6 outside the Reign Lounge in the Florence neighborhood. 

The reward for tips leading to a conviction in the case has been increased to $100,000.