Rebecca Earlywine of Omaha was shot 19 times.
She suffered wounds to her arms, legs, chest and abdomen.
Four bullets remain lodged in her body, including one by her spine. Doctors had to remove part of her large intestine and attach it to her small intestine.
Metal plates have been placed in her arms, and she now has artificial elbows. She will never regain full use of her fingers because of nerve damage.
“It's an absolute miracle this woman is alive,” said prosecutor Jennifer Meckna.
The man who did this to Earlywine — William T. Harris — will spend at least 27 years behind bars after pleading no contest to charges of first-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. Harris, 20, was sentenced Thursday in Douglas County District Court.
On what his lawyer called a methamphetamine binge, Harris shot Earlywine Feb. 7 after she refused to sell the drug for him. The shooting occurred in Earlywine's apartment at the Southside Terrace homes near 29th and S Streets.
Earlywine, a 27-year-old mother of two, will never fully recover from her injuries, Meckna said. Nor will she work again. She relies on Social Security.
She has undergone multiple surgeries. Her medical bills have surpassed $3 million, according to a statement she submitted to the court. She has undergone rehabilitation and can walk and talk.
Besides the physical injuries, she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has trouble sleeping, Meckna said.
District Judge Kimberly Pankonin told Harris he could have been facing a murder charge.
“The facts in this case are extremely, extremely terrible,” he said. “You are very lucky that she was able to survive the extent of those injuries.”
He sentenced Harris to 30 to 40 years for the assault charge and 20 to 30 years on the weapons charge. The sentences will be served one after the other.
Under state sentencing guidelines, Harris will be eligible for parole in 2041, the judge said. If he is not paroled, his mandatory release date would be 2051.
Harris breathed deeply, clenched his fists and shouted as he was led out of the courtroom. Family members gasped, cried and yelled “We love you” as they watched guards take Harris away.
Harris' attorney, David Tighe, said Harris accepts full responsibility for his actions. He asked the judge to let Harris out of prison before his newborn child is an adult.
Tighe said Harris' actions were fueled by his drug use and not a true indicator of his character.
“I personally believe if you remove meth from this particular situation, this event may not have happened,” he said.
Michaela Earlywine, the victim's mother, expressed sympathy for Harris.
“My daughter didn't want him to get all of that (prison) time,” she said. “He is just a young kid. He had his whole life ahead of him. Now it has been taken away from him.”