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Jury convicts Omaha man of first-degree murder in grisly shooting of 2 men

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A camera caught Mabior Mabior in the act of shooting two men in cold blood on a northeast Omaha street.

The only problem: The camera was filming from a distance and Omaha police needed confirmation that Mabior was the gunman.

Enter Mabior himself.

Mabior M. Mabior

Mabior

Days after the shooting, Omaha police conducted a traffic stop and found Mabior sitting in a car near a gun magazine that had bullets matching the ones that killed the two men.

After taking him to police headquarters, Omaha police detective Mike Young told Mabior that officials knew what had gone down.

Young explained to Mabior that what happened was captured on video from across the street — courtesy of cameras at Lothrop Elementary School, 24th and Emmet Streets.

Boxed into a corner — as prosecutors Corey Rothrock and Ann Miller described it — Mabior decided he had to explain himself. He acknowledged that the camera showed him stooping over the men.

Yes, you saw me touching them but someone else shot them — I was just looking for my cellphone, he told Young, according to prosecutors.

His explanation didn’t fly. After a weeklong trial, a jury deliberated about 100 minutes Friday before finding Mabior, 25, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and weapon use in the March 2021 killings of LokLok Thok, 27, and Duop Tang Deng, 24. Mabior will be sentenced July 20 to life in prison.

Miller gave jurors one measure of the senselessness of the crime: Mabior blamed Thok for taking his cellphone and the two got into an argument over it.

At one point in the grainy video, Thok opens his jacket to show Mabior that he has nothing inside. The next moment, a car passes, obstructing the camera’s view of Mabior’s actions: He pulled out a 9 mm handgun and shot Thok at point-blank range.

The camera, which had motion detectors on it, resumed filming as Thok crumpled to the ground. It then captured Mabior rushing after Deng — who had no part of the original argument — and shooting him several times.

Rothrock and Miller said Mabior did so to eliminate a witness.

Mabior couldn’t eliminate the video. The footage further showed Mabior’s friend, Goa Dat, 24, march over to Thok and fire again. That bullet went through Thok’s head. Nine months later, Dat was shot and killed in Lincoln.

As for Mabior’s motive, Miller said, prosecutors are at a loss. Miller told jurors that the argument over the cellphone, as dumb as it seems, could have been the motive. She also noted that Mabior and Thok had been in feuds before.

Here’s how prosecutors found that out: During the autopsy, a coroner’s physician found a bullet that had been lodged in Thok’s buttocks for some time. That bullet got there during a confrontation in which Mabior shot Thok when both men lived in Dallas two years ago.

Thok survived that shooting but had no chance this time. Testimony from a woman at the scene also corroborated the video.

Relatives of Thok and Deng wept during closing arguments. At one point, Miller displayed an autopsy photo of Thok on a big screen in the courtroom. An older relative of Thok stood up for a few minutes to get a closer look, then began praying.

She sat down and burst into tears, her sobs quieted only by the hugs of the women sitting next to her.

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Reporter - Courts

Todd Cooper covers courts, lawyers, trials, legal issues, the justice system and government wrongdoing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @CooperonCourts. Phone: 402-444-1275.

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