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Half eaten food links suspect to SW Omaha murder

Posted at 10:43 AM, Mar 22, 2017
Some questions answered but other important ones remain in the murder of a west Omaha father after a hearing in Douglas Co. Court on Tuesday.

Douglas Co. Judge Daryl Lowe finds enough evidence to move LeAndre Jennings to trial for the murder of Michael Brinkman, 50.

Brinkman was found with one gunshot wound to the chest at his home near 180th and Q St. on December 23.

Detective Larry Cahill testified that two people with clown masks broke into the brinkman home demanding money.  Brinkman struggled with the suspect when he was shot.  He later died at the hospital.

Investigators say fries and a half eaten piece of Texas Toast from Raising Cane’s were left at the scene.  The toast was tested and put into CODIS, which tries to match DNA to previous offenders.  Jennings' DNA came back as a match.

"That evidence is very damning evidence and the numbers and statistics are very good,” said Chief Deputy Douglas Co. Attorney Brenda Beadle.  "One in 123 octillion is probably the highest number I've come across so far in my career."

Video surveillance shows a white Dodge Durango fleeing the scene allegedly rented by Jennings' girlfriend.  The same Durango is on camera in a drive thru hours earlier.

Investigators are still working on a motive and identifying the 2nd suspect.  They said Jennings had no ties to the house or the people living there, but Brinkman's girlfriend remembers an exchange before the suspects left.

"(She) believes that she remembers him saying, 'Let’s go I got it,’” Det. Cahill explained.

Prosecutors say the suspects left with one of the witnesses’ phones.

Investigators testified that $1,700 was left in Brinkman’s wallet in the home, and that there were no firearms to steal.

Jennings hasn’t been assigned a district court judge yet for trial.