Manuel Gomez not accountable by cause of madness in Holdrege murders, lawyer taking pictures

HOLDREGE — A Holdrege man has been found not responsible by reason of insanity for the murder of two men in February 2019.

According to court records, Judge Stephen Illingworth found Manuel Gomez, 48, not responsible by reason of insanity for the killing of Raymond Burton, 65, and David Rogers, 54, and seriously injuring Doyle Morse, 68, on Feb. 21, 2019, at their individual residences in Holdrege.

Manuel Gomez

Manuel Gomez

Gomez had a one-day bench trial Tuesday in Phelps County District Court. Illingworth made his ruling Friday.

Gomez was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, three counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being an habitual criminal. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in July 2020.

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During Gomez’s trial Tuesday, the testimony from the state of Nebraska’s four witnesses and evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Gomez committed each of the criminal acts. After review of all the evidence received, the court determined that Gomez “met his burden of proof with respect to the insanity defense.”

Dr. Terry Davis, a psychiatrist, examined Gomez and all relevant case materials. Davis found that Gomez is severely mentally ill with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Gomez was experiencing such severe psychosis from his mental illness on Feb. 21, 2019, that he did not know or understand the nature and consequences of his actions when he shot the three men.

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