OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — Douglas County District Court Judge Peter Bataillon described what happened at a Ralston apartment complex in October 2013 as a cold-blooded killing.
Ricardo Escobedo Jr., 28, was sentenced to life in prison for second degree murder and 40 years in prison for use of a weapon to commit a felony.
Aimee Kearns, 42, was found shot and killed inside her apartment near 84th & L Streets. Kearns was apparently a drug runner. The defense said she was moving more than 10 pounds of meth for the cartel, and she shorted them money.
Escobedo struggled to get out of the gang life and was associated with the Latin Kings. He was approached by the cartel to rob Kearns when he shot her.
“My sincerest condolences for the victim's family,” Escobedo said. “I take full responsibility for my actions and accountability."
No one was arrested initially, and the Ralston Police Dept. developed a suspect, but the case went cold.
Investigators got DNA samples from the scene and were able to match it to Escobedo when he was arrested for another crime and his DNA was put into CODIS in 2019.
"No one deserves to have this happen to them and their life to be taken but certainly people should be aware that if you're in that sort of business this is the kind of thing that happens when people try to collect debts or money for drugs,” said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.
The victim's family was not present at court. Escobedo's family didn't want to talk after the sentencing.