Swift justice for shooter caught in act of burglary

Endre B. Turner

Endre Turner was affable but defiant.

Caught red-handed with a shooting victim's phone and PlayStation, Turner tried to explain it away.

A guy named “Six Foot” sold the PlayStation to him, he said. Another guy named James sold him the phone.

“I can't sit here and tell you I killed this person if I didn't do it,” Turner said.

Omaha Police Detective Daryl Krause and Sgt. Don Ficenec were having none of it.

A tape of their textbook dismantling of Turner's story was played in court Thursday as prosecutors began wrapping up their portion of Turner's first-degree murder trial.

Turner is charged with killing Richard Harrison, 21, a college student and former Omaha Central High football player.

Jurors, who are expected to begin deliberating the case today, appeared to be spellbound by the tape.

Krause and Ficenec confronted Turner at every twist of his story — invoking God, picking at every half-truth, even acting hurt when he lied to them.

Turner spent the first half-hour denying being a part of the burglary at 58th Street and Grand Avenue — the one that ended with Harrison dead.

Krause and Ficenec confronted him with the fact that Turner could be seen on a store video pawning Harrison's stolen PlayStation a month after the slaying.

Turner then told them that, yes, he had broken into the house. But he fired his gun only because Harrison had startled him and had lunged for something, possibly a weapon, in a closet.

“I was, like, 'What you doing?' ” Turner said. “I said 'Let's talk about this. ... I told him I wouldn't take nothing if he would just let me leave. But he kept saying he was going to call 911.”

Turner said Harrison scrambled for the closet.

“I said 'What you doing?' He said 'Don't worry about it.' So I was, like, boom, I shot him. ... I was stuck.”

In more ways than one. Krause told Turner he was lying — and that detectives were getting the full story from Turner's wife.

Krause confronted Turner with a version detectives had pieced together: That Harrison had met Turner a few weeks before, when a friend introduced him by Turner's nickname, Blake.

Krause: “What did (Harrison) say to you when you walked in his bedroom?”

Turner: “ 'What you doing in my house?' ”

Krause: “What else? Don't lie to me.”

Turner: “He said he knew me. So I said 'Where you know me from?' He said 'I know your cousins.' He was, like, 'You Blake, ain't you? Why you doing this?' ”

Krause confronted Turner again, telling him he knew where Harrison had been shot.

Krause: “The back of the head, Endre. Why?”

Turner, swiveling in his seat: “See, that makes it worse, though.''

Krause: “It doesn't get worse than this, Endre. What makes it worse is if you lie. I'm trying to gauge up and match your honesty.”

At Krause's questioning, Turner recounted a version that prosecutors believe is close to the truth. Thinking no one was home, Turner was startled when he found Harrison in the bedroom. He shot Harrison twice in the face with a .22 caliber gun.

Harrison crawled to the closet, coughing up blood but still alive.

At that, Turner said, he could hear Harrison gurgling.

“He was mumbling, like, 'Why you doing this?' ”

So, Turner said, he walked over to the closet, where Harrison was doubled over, facedown. He said he held the gun “six, nine inches” from Turner's head — and fired twice more.

“Why?” Krause asked.

“ 'Cause if he lived, he could be the one who was, like, 'He did it.' ”

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