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Grand Jury Indicts Omaha Man Who Shot BLM Attacker (UPDATE – Indicted Jake Gardner commits suicide)

Grand Jury Indicts Omaha Man Who Shot BLM Attacker (UPDATE – Indicted Jake Gardner commits suicide)

“(the county attorney) received complaints from citizens, according to KMTV, and he agreed to appoint special prosecutor”

Back in May, a Nebraska man named Jake Gardner was allegedly assaulted, along with his elderly father, by Black Lives Matter protesters outside their family-owned bar.

In the scuffle, Gardner shot and killed a young black man named James Scurlock, who had reportedly climbed onto his back and put him in a choke hold.

Charges against Gardener were not pursued on the grounds of self-defense, but now a grand jury has reversed that decision and indicted Gardner.

Jordan Michaels reports at Guns America Digest:

Grand Jury Reverses Self-Defense Decision, Indicts Omaha Man for Manslaughter During BLM Riot

An Omaha man who was initially determined to have acted in self-defense is now being charged by a grand jury with manslaughter along with three additional felonies.

The 16-member grand jury indicted Jake Gardner for his role in the killing of 22-year-old James Scurlock during an altercation at a Black Lives Matter protest and riot in May. Gardner has been charged with manslaughter, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, attempted first-degree assault and making terroristic threats.

Immediately following the incident, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced that he would not be filing charges against Gardner. He told the media that his investigation, which included a review of surveillance footage, indicated that Gardner acted in self-defense.

But Kleine received complaints from citizens, according to KMTV, and he agreed to appoint special prosecutor Frederick Franklin III and form a grand jury…

“[The grand jury] had much more information available to them than [Kleine] had at the time that the original decision was made,” Franklin said. “That evidence can be reasonably construed as an intent to use a firearm for purposes of killing someone.”

This local news report breaks down the basics:

I don’t know if this is a plot twist, but it certainly seems worth mentioning. When I was doing research for this story, I was surprised to learn that Jake Gardner was a volunteer worker on Trump’s 2016 campaign in Michigan, Nebraska, and California. I had not heard this in prior reports.

Could this have something to do with the complaints received by the county attorney and the appointment of a special prosecutor? Would anyone really be surprised?

The left clearly wants Gardner prosecuted:

This is the bottom line:

It sounds like the activist left complained and put pressure on authorities until they caved and found a way to charge Gardner.

Featured image via YouTube.

[FS: edited for clarity]


Terrible news. Jake Gardner has committed suicide:

Jake Gardner, accused of manslaughter for the shooting death of James Scurlock this summer, has died by suicide according to Gardner’s attorney, Stu Dornan.

A warrant for Gardner’s arrest was issued after a grand jury indicted him for manslaughter and other charges related to the death of James Scurlock. Gardner did not turn himself in after the warrant was issued.

Gardner was in Oregon. He was supposed to turn himself in today.

Gardner, 38, was also facing charges of attempted first-degree assault, threats and using a weapon while committing a felony.


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The plan is to drag him through the courts and bankrupt him.

    Fiftycaltx in reply to boulder. | September 20, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Yes. The plan is to make the process the punishment. For the first self-defense shooting for a licensed concealed handgun holder in Austin 20+ years ago, the Leftist DA shopped the indictment to 3 grand juries before he could get a true bill. Cost the guy more than $100,000 in lawyer fees to get found not guilty. I recommend everyone that has a license to carry or has a gun for self defense get covered with insurance. Mine is with CCW safe, but there are a number of others out there. It covers bail up front, a local lawyer familiar with state laws and expert fees if needed. But the most important thing you can do if you are involved in a self defense shooting is immediately call 911 when you are safe, tell 911 you had shot someone, you were in fear for your life and don’t say any more. SHUT UP. That is what the lawyer is for. You know what got the Austin guy true billed 20 years ago? When interviewed by the police (for hours) he said something to the effect of “oh I wish I hadn’t shot him.” Don’t be that guy.

      Just looked at CCW Safe and get this message:

      NOTE: The states of New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ) and Washington (WA) do not allow coverage for self-defense incidents. Residents from these states cannot purchase this plan.

      Looks like my state (WA) explicitly intends to make the process the punishment even though we’re a stand your ground state.

        Andy in reply to MrE. | September 20, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        Ferguson calls it murder insurance and Kriedler (the insurance commisioner in wa) is Inslee’s little bitch.

        Kridler’s response to the riots and wild fires (many lit by homeless and Antifa) is to hold a climate summit.

        I am an insurance agent in Wa and know some insiders at carriers who say Kriedler has also been weaponizing his office targeting insurance carriers with conservative values. Make no mistake Inslee and his cabal of leftists are completely evil.

        Fiftycaltx in reply to MrE. | September 20, 2020 at 2:48 pm

        Yah, that’s what happens when you live in a SLAVE STATE that demands you have govt. “permission” to exercise a RIGHT. 2 courses of action. MOVE or try to change the govt. Probably have to move.

        Iolite in reply to MrE. | September 20, 2020 at 5:32 pm

        Mike Kreidler is our state (WA) commissioner. He was on the Lars Larson show earlier this year explaining why he says it’s immoral and grants a license to murder having concealed carry insurance. Larson took him the task and he couldn’t actually articulate himself enough to defend himself against the logic of the situation.

      Tommy Two Gears in reply to Fiftycaltx. | September 20, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      Excellent advice…….that is the cheapest investment with best return any CCW individual can make.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to boulder. | September 20, 2020 at 11:11 am

    “Loser pays” should apply to cases like this. A crusading DA railroads you into court but you’re cleared, the taxpayers get the bill.

    Eventually, taxpayers will elect real DAs and not crusaders.

    forksdad in reply to boulder. | September 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    The plan is to put him in prison and kill him.

    Year zero, bleeding kansas not politics as usual

(Douglas County Attorney Don) “Kleine received complaints from citizens…”

Translation: A Soros funded mob pounced to demand ‘the process is the punishment.’

DA’s are elected officials, and it’s pathetic this DA is more concerned about his own re-election than standing on the wall to defend one man’s constitutional right to self-defense. smh

You can indict a ham sandwich as a law prof used to say. The deal is Jean Stothered (RINO at best) and her ilk have their hand-tied but Ernie Chambers north Omaha ilk. No other part of the metro has this issue only Omaha proper

can someone with a legal background explain how this doesn’t count as a violation of the double jeopardy clause of the 5th amendment?
cause it sure like it would be to me.

    A DA declining to prosecute is not the same as a Petit Jury, at trial, finding the defendant Not Guilty.

    The first prosecutor declined to charge him. The indictment is the first time he is being charged. No double jeopardy. Double jeopardy is only attached once a prosecution gets pretty far along, certainly not before any trial has actually begun.

    If I read correctly, the headline is misleading.

    It wasn’t “ruled” self-defense in any sort of judicial proceeding, it’s just that the county attorney declined to prosecute initially because it was clearly self-defense and said so at the time.

    It looks like George Zimmerman all over again.

    Given how INCREDIBLY poorly this is written, I can understand why you are confused. Had the man been “found not guilty on the grounds of self-defense” as was written by the author, you would be absolutely correct. However, that is NOT what happened. What actually happened is that the County Attorney declined to file charges, which is NOT a ruling on the merits, just an exercise of discretion. After citizen complaints, a special prosecutor was appointed and a grand jury returned an indictment.

    I don’t think the double jeopardy protection is valid anymore. As I remember, the cops who beat up Rodney King were tried twice, found innocent in state court the first time, and convicted in federal court the second time.

    When the case reached SCOTUS, they said that someone can be tried for the same act in as many different courts as a prosecutor can find. So it seems like you could also be tried again in county court, municipal court, etc.

    Disclaimer: I am not now and have never been an attorney. It would be good to hear from attorneys what is the current status of double jeopardy law.

      Milhouse in reply to OldProf2. | September 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

      When the case reached SCOTUS, they said that someone can be tried for the same act in as many different courts as a prosecutor can find.

      This is not even remotely close to being true.

      1. The SCOTUS never ruled on the question of double jeopardy, because there never was any question about that. It was already long established that federal and state authorities are completely independent of each other, and an acquittal in one system has no effect on the other one. Nobody ever raised the possibility that this might not be so, because they would have been laughed out of court.

      2. No, prosecutors can’t try the same case in multiple courts. But just as if someone commits a crime in two states, violating the laws of each, both states can try him (surely you don’t dispute that?), so if someone violates the laws of a state and of the USA both can try him. Obviously a state prosecutor cannot bring a case in federal court, nor a federal prosecutor in state court.

      3. THe only question that came to the Supreme Court was whether the trial court had acted properly in taking Rodney King’s own bad conduct into account, and the Supreme Court said of course it did. His conduct was extremely relevant to the defendants’ actions, so it had to be taken into account.

      tbonesays in reply to OldProf2. | September 21, 2020 at 7:04 am

      I would say that Double Jeopardy has ‘almost’ been read out of the Constitution. Pretty much anything with which you can be charged by the state can be taken up by the Feds for a 2nd bite at the apple. And at that point you are broke from paying your defense lawyer in state court.

      Also the legislatures continually add more crimes onto the same action. Notice the man in the article got 3 extra charges besides the Manslaughter. DJ will not apply as long as they can split a hair between each charge.

      But no, as Milhouse said they cannot retry you in different counties.

If we manage against all odds to regain control of our country, there will need to be a reckoning.

Many people have been deceived and manipulated by propaganda, but some people know what exactly what they’re doing. They must be called to account for their actions.

The rule of law does not work automatically. It depends on participants at least usually acting in something resembling good faith. We must re-establish the principle that some conduct will not be tolerated and will be punished severely.

The article has it a bit wrong. Gardner was not previously charged, tried, and found “not guilty.” The DA simply refused to press charges as a result of finding a credible self-defense claim.
So, technically and legally, a special prosecutor could empanel a Grand Jury to review the case and bring charges.
I’m a bit dubious of the claim of “additional evidence” given to the Grand Jury that the original investigators didn’t have. We will have to see how this plays out but it certainly smells of a DA caving to nothing more than public pressure and appointing a special prosecutor.

Let’s never forget Rick Scott and possibly Judge Jeanine either

A law needs to be enacted that if a defendant is found not guilty, his legal fees, plus $1000 a day from the time of indictment to the verdict be paid from the prosecutor’s office.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to MarkS. | September 20, 2020 at 11:16 am

    See my comment above about crusaders. I agree with you. But- paraphrasing Scooter Libby – where do the exonerated go to get their reputation back?

    Under such a law O. J. Simpson would have been awarded quite a large sum. Just the $1,000/day would have been nearly half a million. That in addition to his legal fees, which I am sure ran to several million dollars.

Lights please
It isn’t about the rule of law, its how to make restitution to the supposed down trodden in life and the reasons they never could become successful.
This is what Social Justice is all about Charlie Brown

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Skip. | September 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Yep, social justice = unjust prosecution + big insurance shakedown, just another ripoff like riots and looting = reparations.

Franklin forgot to add that in addition to the “additional information”, he was also there to manipulate the Grand Jury.

Again, the message is sent: Oppose BLM/Antifa/Leftists and go to jail. McCoskey, Rittenhouse, Zimmerman, et al, ad nauseum. The “system” the Left rails against appears to only protect them.

But Kleine received complaints from citizens, according to KMTV, and he agreed to appoint special prosecutor Frederick Franklin III and form a grand jury…

Is not a 6th Amendment violation?

Out-of-Court Statements

In building a case, prosecutors may want to use statements that people have made outside of the courtroom as evidence against the defendant. If the person making the statements does not appear in court to testify, however, using such statements may constitute a confrontation clause violation.

Without Citizen’s being identified, they should have not had a grand jury. Who are they?

This is a start.

    Milhouse in reply to MarkSmith. | September 21, 2020 at 2:21 am

    No, it is not a 6th amendment violation. Basically a suspect has no rights in indictment proceedings. A prosecutor can summon a grand jury for any reason or none, and the suspect doesn’t even have to be notified that the grand jury is investigating him in the first place. Even indictments can be kept secret until the suspect is arrested.

Gingrich was right but what he didn’t add is that the constitution should have been boilerplated like an HOA contract.

“That evidence can be reasonably construed as an intent to use a firearm for purposes of killing someone.”

What kind of indictment is “reasonably construed”? It seems to me that carrying a firearm for self defense may reasonably lead to the death of the attacker WHO IS TRYING TO KILL ME. Such understanding is implied in state gov’ts issuance of a CCW permit after applicants background check.

That the state issued a CCW, can it be “reasonably construed” that the state is complicit in the death? As in “whoops – we shouldn’t have issued to this guy?”

The right ought apply inverse pressure to the grand jury and prosecutor (?).

    Seems clear the indictment is going after “wrong think” … i.e., “if you carry a gun for self defense, it can be reasonably construed that you have pre-meditated its use which is murder …”

The next tactic of the left is while they continue to attack the 2a, they will find every which way to charge you should you USE your weapon even for a lawful purpose.

Our judicial system is so tainted; it’s completely pointless now.
To have them go back and ‘reverse their decision’.

I guess a choke hold is only considered deadly force when a cop does it.

fer sure! Omaha just dropped off my bucket list.
Some of the financial problems in NYC, Portland, Skinny Minny, et al is the tourism industry (or lack thereof).
I sincerely hope that the commander at Offutt has placed downtown Omaha off-limits to all base personnel

We have a right to keep and bear arms.
However, using them seems a bit different thing.

Was the D.A a Soros hire? So Rioters have now carte blache to act at will and the law abiding citizen is not? Time for Civil War 2.0 then

This is heart breaking.
I just read that Jake Gardner committed suicide.

This nonsense needs to stop. And public officials need to be help accountable.

WTF …. Gardner committed suicide . These leftist communists and racist blacks are destroying everything …. including innocent lives like Gardner .

My congratulations to special prosecutor Frederick Franklin III.

I didn’t listen all the way through the TV report, but from what I did hear it appears there was indeed new evidence, which may have indicated that Scurlock was actually defending himself from Gardner, who was the aggressor and thus had no right to defend himself with deadly force. At least that’s the impression I got of what they were driving at. It wasn’t clear at all, but that seemed to be the theory they were pushing.

Sad outcome. The poor guy obviously wasn’t cut out for it and yet still he managed to do the right thing when he had to. Obviously a kind heart who couldn’t stand for the ‘authorities’ to blame him when he did nothing wrong. May he RIP.may the soros prosecutor rot in hell.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 21, 2020 at 7:59 am

I question if it is was suicide, or, staged to look like it.

I have been in front of many grand juries as a police officer, and the saying about indicting a ham sandwich is correct. The prosecutor provides only information they see fit in order to get the outcome they want. The grand jury system is broken and the secretive nature can allow a less than scrupulous DA to get cases to trial that should never go. In my particular area the DA doesn’t take a case unless it’s pretty much a slam dunk because he’s only worried about his win:loss record for election seasons. The DA should not be a political position. There are too many reasons for DAs to refuse or take cases that should have gone the other way.