Raising a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle, James Fairbanks riddled Mattieo Condoluci with seven shots, bullets entering Condoluci’s back and chest. One bullet pierced Condoluci’s forehead, near his temple.
All after Condoluci, a convicted sex offender, answered his door near 43rd and Pinkney Streets in May 2020.
Yet Fairbanks and his attorney, Steve Lefler, contemplated a self-defense claim up until minutes before the 44-year-old Omaha man pleaded no contest Thursday to second-degree murder and a gun charge. They said Condoluci had charged the armed Fairbanks after he showed up at Condoluci’s house to warn him to stay away from kids.
Prosecutor Brenda Beadle, the chief deputy Douglas County attorney, called the self-defense assertion “comical.” She noted that Condoluci had no idea that a gunman would come to his door the night of May 14 and had not had any prior contact nor conflict with Fairbanks. Beadle and fellow prosecutor Ryan Lindberg suggested that Fairbanks was hunting sex offenders with the rifle he had bought earlier that year.
Before the killing, prosecutors say, Fairbanks:
Googled whether Nebraska’s death row offers a commissary. He researched stories of other men who had killed sex offenders and what their penalties were.
Sought to find out whether a gunshot alert system — Shotspotter — could detect the sounds of shots from inside a home. And he researched legal definitions of second-degree murder vs. self-defense.