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Prosecutor in slaying case: Omaha doctor and her husband may have been abusive toward each other

Prosecutor in slaying case: Omaha doctor and her husband may have been abusive toward each other

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LEXINGTON, Neb. — A judge Thursday declined to reduce the $1 million bail of a resident physician from Omaha who is accused of fatally shooting her husband during an argument.

Kathleen Jourdan, 31, of Omaha has been charged with second-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.

Jourdan told investigators that she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, 35-year-old Josh Jourdan, after he pulled off Interstate 80 near Cozad on June 17.

The couple’s two boys, ages 7 and 5, were in the back seat during the argument and ensuing shooting. The boys were placed into protective custody.

Kathleen Jourdan appeared Thursday morning before Dawson County Judge Jeffrey Wightman. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing, sending the case to Dawson County District Court.

Jourdan’s lawyer, Brian Copley, asked the judge to reduce his client’s $1 million bail, saying she can’t afford to put down the required 10%.

Kathleen Jourdan

Kathleen Jourdan

Copley offered three reasons Jourdan would not be a flight risk: her lack of prior criminal activity; her intention to remain in Lexington if freed; and her children, who now are in foster care.

Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman said Jourdan’s bail should not be reduced. Waterman said it’s a murder case, one Jourdan may not be able to successfully defend at trial.

Waterman also said that it is early in the investigation and that new information may yet be discovered.

In interviews with law enforcement, Jourdan alleged that she suffered abuse from her husband. Waterman said both Jourdan and her husband may have been abusive.

“This was not a happy marriage,” Waterman said.

The couple and their two boys were moving to Scottsbluff so Kathleen Jourdan could continue her medical residency. She was a resident physician in the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Program. UNMC officials have placed her on administrative leave pending internal and criminal investigations.

According to what Kathleen Jourdan told authorities, she and her husband began arguing as he was driving on I-80 near Cozad. He called a friend from Georgia to serve as a mediator, and both spoke with the friend as Josh drove.

Josh then pulled over to the side of the Interstate, gave Kathleen a “look” and raised his arm at her “like he was going to strike her,” according to an affidavit.

Kathleen, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, grabbed a handgun from the center console, removed it from its holster, pointed it at Josh and fired twice at his chest, the affidavit states.

During later interviews, Kathleen Jourdan allowed Nebraska State Patrol investigators to look through her cellphone and told them they might find a “concerning conversation” with one of her friends. According to the affidavit, she and her friend had discussed “how to get away with the perfect murder.”

She also alleged a “history of being forced by Joshua Jourdan to provide prescriptions for controlled medications with no diagnosis by any medical professional.”

When the vehicle was searched, investigators found 11 prescription bottles with Josh Jourdan’s name on them.

“These bottles indicated Joshua Jourdan as the patient and Kathleen Jourdan as the physician who wrote the prescription,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

Jourdan also told investigators of alleged domestic violence involving her husband, “to include but not limited to sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse.”

Investigators have requested Kathleen Jourdan’s Facebook account information and messages since January 2016, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Jourdan, who remains in the Dawson County Jail, is set to appear in district court Aug. 17.

Omaha World-Herald: Afternoon Update

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