U.S. News

Nebraska man pleads guilty, gets two life sentences in murders

(Reuters) - A Nebraska man pleaded guilty and received two consecutive life sentences on Wednesday for the murders of his mother and 4-year-old half-brother.

Roberto Martinez-Marinero, 25, also had faced a kidnap charge for allegedly throwing his 11-month-old half-brother in a dumpster. That charge was dropped and he pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the May deaths in Omaha of his mother Jesus “Ismenia” Marinero, 45, and his half-brother Josue Ramirez-Marinero, Douglas County Attorney Donald Kleine said.

Ismenia Marinero was fatally stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat and the 4-year-old boy was thrown from a bridge over the Elkhorn River, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Martinez-Marinero also pleaded guilty to one count of using a weapon to commit a felony, Kleine said.

Martinez-Marinero killed his mother in a dispute about money and then went after his half-brothers, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Martinez-Marinero’s baby half-brother, Angel Ramirez-Marinero, survived being thrown in the dumpster.

In exchange for the life sentences, Kleine said prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty. Martinez-Marinero has been in jail since May, when he was initially charged after surrendering and confessing to killing his mother.

Martinez-Marinero’s lawyer, Douglas County Public Defender Thomas Riley declined to comment until his client decides whether to appeal, which Riley said is unlikely.

His mother was found dead in a residential area of Omaha and his half-brother was missing for days, prompting an air and water search.

Police in May also arrested Martinez-Marinero’s girlfriend, Gabriela Guevara, as a suspected accessory to murder. Her case is pending and a trial date has not yet been set, according to Riley, who does not represent her. Reuters was not immediately able to reach her lawyers.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Bill Trott