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Nebraska man could face execution after conviction in 4 killings

By Katie Knapp Schubert

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - A Nebraska man was convicted on Wednesday of killing four people during a 10-day murder spree last summer within days of his release from prison and could face the death penalty in a state that has not carried out an execution since 1997.

Nikko Jenkins, 27, was found guilty of first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and felon in possession of a weapon in each of the four killings by Douglas County District Court Judge Peter Bataillon, court officials said.

Jenkins had pleaded no contest during a court hearing in Omaha to the charges that he killed Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena on August 11, Curtis Bradford on August 19, and Andrea Kruger on August 21.

Jenkins was released from prison on July 30 after serving 10 years for robbery, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and assault, according to online prison records.

A sentencing date has not been set. A three-judge panel will

be selected to determine whether Jenkins is eligible for the death penalty, according to state statute.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine has said he likely would seek the death penalty for Jenkins. Republican Governor Dave Heineman expressed support for that position in September.

Nebraska has put three people to death since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld capital punishment in 1976, the last in 1997, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Writing and additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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