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Omahan convicted in revenge killing

Omahan convicted in revenge killing

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An Omaha man was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and three weapons counts in connection with the February 2012 shooting of a former gang rival.

Tillman Henderson, 24, will be sentenced in to life in prison for the killing of 34-year-old Matthew M. Voss.

Jurors deliberated for 3 1/2 hours before convicting Henderson.

Henderson and a second gunman -- authorities have been unable to identify the second suspect -- shot Voss 14 times, including eight times in the face, outside an after-hours party near 16th and Harney Street.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine and Deputy Douglas County Attorney Katie Benson said the shooting was in retaliation for a prison shanking of a once-notorious Omaha gang member.

The sequence of events started in 2006 when Voss' cousin, Kenny Miller, was shot outside a grocery store in north Omaha. Gang member Jimmy Levering was charged in the shooting, but the charges were dropped after witnesses refused to testify.

In 2009, Voss stabbed Jimmy Levering as the two served time for gun charges in a federal prison in Florida. Levering survived that attack but died in 2011 in a shooting outside Club Seville.

Despite his death, prosecutors say, Levering's picture was on Henderson's cell phone as he sought to avenge Levering's stabbing last year.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2012, Henderson received a cellphone message that the person who stabbed Levering was at the party.

Minutes later, Voss was shot dead and bystander Antonio Washington, 34, was shot between the eyes. Washington survived.

Acting on a tip from a downtown driver, Omaha Police Officer Paul Sarka chased down and tackled Henderson four blocks from the shooting scene. Omaha police found one of the murder weapons in Henderson's coat and the other under a parked car nearby -- in the exact spot where it was tossed.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1275, todd.cooper@owh.com

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