Fewer problems since 2012 Old Market murder

Posted at 4:56 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 18:53:26-04

A 2012 murder brought attention to the Old Market for the wrong reasons.  Tuesday, the man responsible for that homicide is sentenced.

Tavar Hudson, 28, is sentenced to 30-60 years in prison after pleading guilty to 2nd degree murder.  He'll serve about 15 years before he's eligible for parole.  Officials say Hudson was a known gang member.

Hudson shot and killed DeAnthony Bryant, 19, in a parking lot near 11th & Harney St. in June 2012.  The bars had just been closed before shots were fired.  Police said a large gathering was involved in an altercation before the shooting.  An OPD bicycle officer heard the shots and saw people running from the scene.

After the murder, city leaders and business owners wanted to find a solution to making the old market safer for visitors.  They even debated a curfew for kids between 16 and 19 years old, but that did not happen.  The problem bar, which was known as Denim and Diamonds and later Maria Sangria, was shut down by the city council in 2015 who canceled their liquor license.  Authorities say they had many calls to the bar for violence.

"I think the police, the citizens, the merchants at the old market, the liquor commission have all done a good job at ensuring public safety, and I think it's much better and they're doing a very good job of that," said Douglas Co. Attorney Don Kleine.

The owners of Maria Sangria appealed to the NE Liquor Control Commission, but they sustained the cancelation.  The LCC says they haven't heard of any issues in the area since.