“I have nothing to do with it”

The man accused of shooting a Lincoln man in February 2021 and leaving him to die in a failed plot to steal 4 pounds of marijuana from him spoke at his trial on Thursday and told the jury that he was the victim of a set-up.

came out of Dodge.

“I had nothing to do with it. I was scared,” he said.

Defense attorney Jeff Pickens questioned why he didn’t turn himself in.

Police had said he was armed and dangerous, Rush said, and he feared they would shoot him if they came into contact with him.

“I didn’t want to be one of those stats,” he said.

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Rush said at the time of the murder, early February 23, 2021, just before 4:30 a.m., he was in Omaha dealing with his girlfriend, who was angry with him after finding sex videos of him with other women on his phone. .

Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney Eric Miller says it happened after he returned to Omaha.

To explain why his cell phone was ringing on Lincoln Towers near Shekie’s home at the time of the murder, Rush said he had accidentally left his iPhone in Marques Moten’s van about a week earlier. He denied being the one who used it early that morning, texting about the theft.

He said that on the morning of February 24, he found the phone in his yard.

Pickens asked him point-blank, “Did you shoot Mr. Shekie?”

Miller asked Rush if he was the person wearing the black hoodie on a security video at a Lincoln apartment with Anna Feilen and Marques Moten shortly before the murder.

Both Feilen and Moten testified that it was him and that he was the one who entered Shekie’s trailer with a gun. They said they heard gunshots soon after, then a scream and left, picking up Rush soon after from a nearby FedEx when he called Moten.

“I testify that they are outright lying,” Rush said.

In his closing arguments, Miller said Rush got scared of Shekie after he entered the trailer, fired a wild shot, then a second at a door before going in and shooting Shekie on his bed, the back against the wall.

Miller said phone records and social media conversations confirmed what the Feilen and Moten siblings said, but nothing corroborated what Rush said on the stand.

“He just says it,” the prosecutor said.

Rush said he sold the Jordan 6 shoes, like the ones he wore in a Facebook photo shortly before the murder. The same kind of shoe that left an imprint on Shekie’s door when it was kicked down.

Rush said someone else was using his Facebook account when Feilen made controlled contact with the listening police.

He tried to explain himself by calling them rats and said that the texts about the errors and the prison sentence right after Shekie’s murder were about the domestic assault, not the murder.

Pickens said the case is simple. For the jury to find Rush guilty, they must believe Feilen and Moten beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I guess the problem for you folks is: is that third person Mr. Rush, or is it someone else? If you think the third person is Mr. Rush, you’re obviously going to find him guilty. But there is reasonable doubt who the third person is,” he said.

In his rebuttal, Miller said Feilen and Moten lied about some things.

“But they weren’t lying about it,” he said. ‘And they weren’t lying when they pointed to Mr Rush and said he was the one who entered Mr Shekie’s trailer, shot him and killed him. They don’t lie about it.

The jury got the case for deliberation shortly after 5 p.m. They must return on Monday.

Deontae Rush and her attorney Jeff Pickens listen during her first murder trial in Lancaster County District Court in August.

JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star file photo

According to a WalletHub study of the 182 largest cities in the United States, these are the safest and least secure cities in the country. The researchers analyzed the data in three categories: home and community security, natural disaster risk, and financial security. Safest cities: 1. Columbia, Md. 2. Nashua, NH 3. Laredo, Texas 4. Portland, Maine 5. Warwick, RI. 6. Yonkers, NY 7. Gilbert, Arizona 8. Burlington, Vermont 9. Raleigh, North Carolina 10. Lewiston, Maine. Least Safe Cities: 1. St. Louis 2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida 3. San Bernardino, California 4. Detroit 5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana 6. Memphis, Tennessee 7. Oklahoma City 8. Oakland, California 9. Jackson, Mississippi 10. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Elna M. Lemons