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Appeal by convicted killer results in stiffer sentence

March 9, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An appeal by an Omaha man convicted of killing a longtime family friend has resulted in a stiffer — not lighter — prison sentence.

Matthew Kidder was convicted in 2016 of first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon in the death of 28-year-old Jessyka Nelson, who had been raped and strangled in her home on June 25, 2015. Kidder was sentenced to life in prison. He was also initially sentenced to 50 years for the weapon count, but a judge modified it to 20 years after being told 50 years was outside the range allowed by law.

On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Kidder’s convictions and life sentence, but ordered the trial court to reinstate its original 50-year sentence, saying Nebraska law does allow up to 50 years and “thus, the court’s initial pronouncement ... was valid.”

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