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Douglas County Grand Jury makes decision in James Scurlock case

BREAKING UPDATE- Omaha Scanner has confirmed that Jake Gardner, who was indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter in the shooting death of James Scurlock, has reportedly been located deceased in Oregon. This is a developing story and we’re working to uncover additional information.


On September 18th, A Douglas County District Court Judge signed off on an affidavit to issue an arrest warrant for Gardner.


On September 15th, A Douglas County grand jury returned an indictment against former Old Market bar owner Jake Gardner, 38, who is accused of shooting and killing James Scurlock, 22, during civil unrest in Omaha, NE on May 30th, 2020.


The grand jury found that the evidence presented was adequate to justify a prosecution against Gardner for one count of manslaughter, one count of use of a firearm in commission of felony, one count of attempted first degree assault and one count of terroristic threats.


The grand jury was convened on September 7th to determine if there was sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Gardner.


Scurlock was killed by Gardner during an altercation on May 30th outside Gardner’s downtown Omaha bar. The altercation took place as protestors took to the streets to call for justice in the death of George Floyd.


Scurlock sustained a gunshot wound to the clavicle and was transported to Nebraska Medicine. He succumbed to the injuries shortly after.


On June 1st, Douglas County Attorney, Don Kleine, declined to file charges in the case. Kleine stated that the shooting appeared to be an act of self-defense by Gardner.


Justin Wayne, an attorney representing the Scurlock family, asked for a grand jury to review the evidence.


As tensions grew and unrest remained, Douglas County Attorney, Don Kleine, announced on June 3rd that a grand jury would be impaneled and a special prosecutor appointed to review the case.


Upon Kleine’s announcement, Wayne further stated that a grand jury review was a step in the right direction. Wayne called on witnesses and those with videos and evidence to come forward prior to the grand jury review.


On June 8th Frederick D. Franklin was appointed to lead the grand jury investigation.






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