Jury deliberating fate of teen accused of killing LPD investigator

The jury in the trial of Felipe Vazquez is now in deliberation.
LPD Investigator Mario Herrera.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The jury in the trial of Felipe Vazquez is now in deliberation. Nineteen-year-old Felipe Vazquez has pled not guilty to seven charges, including first-degree murder, in the fatal shooting of Lincoln Police investigator Mario Herrera.

Vazquez’s trial began Monday, March 7 in Columbus. The jury went into deliberations around noon Monday, March 21 and a verdict could come this evening.

The jury is discussing these charges.

  • First-degree murder
  • Two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony
  • Attempted assault on an officer in the first degree
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person
  • Possessing or receiving a stolen firearm
  • Escape using force/deadly weapon

The state wrapped up their argument Monday in the case against Vazquez, starting with audio of Herrera as he was shot.

Prosecutor Pat Condon said the shooting and resulting death was intentional and premeditated and asked the jury to find Vazquez guilty on all seven counts.

The prosecution walked the jury through the events of Aug. 26, 2020. It started when Lincoln Police tried to arrest Vazquez on a warrant. The prosecution highlighted the point that Vazquez was asking questions about how many officers were outside. The state said Vazquez had previously said that he would shoot officers if they tried to take him into custody.

The defense said Vazquez did not intend to shoot Herrera when he jumped out of the window that day. They asked for a charge of reckless manslaughter and argued that Vazquez tried to shoot at a tree as a distraction to help him get away from the officers surrounding the house. The defense argued that the witnesses who said Vazquez had spoken about how he would shoot an officer if they tried to arrest them were not trustworthy.