Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 25, 1999)
Declaration of war
The Lincoln Lightning, one of the eight teams in
the new Indoor Football League, promises “wall
to-wall war.” But will anybody care? PAGE 7
IA & E
The Lincoln Community Gospel Choir is spread
ing the word with the voices of angels.The choir
was founded 14 years ago. PAGE 9
February 25, 1999
Mostly sunny, high 50. Partly cloudy tonight, low 32.
VOL. 98 COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 109
Death penalty opponents speak
■ Nearly 20 people
voiced their support
Wednesday for LB76,
which would abolish the
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
Even in the wake of the recent
racially motivated murder of a black
man by several white men in Jasper,
Texas, Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers
said he would not support the death
“Even in that case I don't think the
state should take a life," said
Nebraska's lone black lawmaker.
On his side were almost 20 people
who testified Wednesday in support
of Chamber’s annual bill that would
abolish the death penalty in Nebraska
and replace it with life in prison with
out parole. No one testified in opposi
tion to the bill.
LB76 was one of several bills the
Judiciary Committee heard that
addressed the death penalty. One bill
would change the method of execu
tion from electrocution to lethal injec
tion. Another would commute a death
sentence if racial discrimination was
proved a factor in that sentencing.
Chambers, along with Catholic
representatives, defense attorneys and
anti-death penalty advocates urged
the committee to at least advance the
bill to the floor of the Legislature for
“A vote to advance the bill to the
floor is no more than that at this
point,” Chambers said.
Omaha Sen. John Hilgert, who is a
death penalty supporter, showed signs
of intending to vote to advance the bill
to the floor.
“It may be time to give the entire
state the opportunity to debate this,”
The last time the full Legislature
debated the death penalty was 1992.
More than a decade ago, a bill that
would have abolished the death penal
ty actually passed, but was vetoed by
then-Gov. Charles Thone.
Allegations of racial disparity in
applying the death penalty and the
absence of a philosophical basis for
capital punishment dominated almost
two hours of debate.
Distrust by the public that the state
will not keep life-sentenced criminals
Please see DEATH on 2
We are killing people
in Nebraska because
the issue can be used
on a statewide level
to further political
careers. No one
should die because
someone is running
for US. Senate.”
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
The murder trial of the second man accused
of killing his foster home mate in 1995 contin
The jury of accused killer Tony Galligo’s
heard from the foster mother who gave him an
alibi for two years.
Marilyn Beggs, the foster mother, testified
that she remembered seeing Michael Schmader
alive at 11 p.m. on Oct. 18, 1995, about 2Vi
hours after the time the coroner determined he
had been murdered.
Beggs, with her husband, Robert, runs the
Lincoln foster home where Galligo, Timothy
Hopkins and Schmader all lived in 1995 when
Schmader was murdered.
Galligo’s attorney, Kirk Naylor, said that
Beggs’ statements slowed the police investiga
Timothy Hopkins, 20, was arrested in
September 1997 - almost two years after the
crime was committed - after he confessed to
the crime of manslaughter.
Schmader was reported missing from the
state group home Oct. 18, 1995. His body was
found buried in a shallow grave in the 48th
Street Antelope Creek underpass on Dec. 22,
Prosecutors contend that Hopkins and
Galligo stabbed Schmader more than a dozen
times and beat him with a rock before burying
his body in an Antelope Creek storm drainage
ditch under 48th Street on Oct. 18, 1995.
Police investigated the homicide for two
years before arresting Hopkins for the crime.
Hopkins pled guilty to manslaughter and
the use of a weapon to commit a felony last fall
in exchange for his testimony against Galligo.
In December, Hopkins was sentenced to 15 to
20 years in prison.
If the 19-year-old Galligo is convicted in
the first-degree murder trial that started
Tuesday, he could be sentenced to death.
Please see GALLIGO on 2
Wallaballa bing bang
JUNIOR ACCOUNTING MAJOR Ryan Braasch and senior broadcasting major Angie Buescher play Wallaballa on Wednesday evening outside
of the Cather-Pound-Neihardt dining hail. By jumping rope, hula-hooping and playing Wallaballa, students helped raise money for the
American Heart Association. The event was sponsored by the Housing and Dining Service Nutrition Committee.
Teen’s mother sued for pregnancy
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
The mother of a teen-age boy who impreg
nated his girlfriend should be liable for her
medical costs because she knew they were hav
ing sex, lawyers argued Wednesday.
The civil suit, filed by the girl’s father, could
be the first of its kind in the country.
Doug Detmer, Leanne Detmer’s father, is
suing Dallas Mills’ mother for the medical costs
incurred after Leanne Detmer got pregnant in
The Detmers are asking for $11,371 to
cover the cost of the abortion and counseling
that Leanne Detmer underwent.
The Detmers claim that Dawn Bixler,
Dallas Mills’ mother, had a responsibility to act
after she found out that the two 16-year-olds
were having sex.
Sharon Detmer testified that she and her
husband did not know Leanne Detmer was hav
ing sex until after she told them she was preg
nant in April 1997.
“We have fulfilled our responsibility,”
Sharon Detmer said. “Now we just want what is
fair and right.”
Bixler’s lawyer, Susan Strong, questioned
whether the Detmers knew the couple was sex
ually active based on statements Sharon Detmer
made in interviews with the NBC morning
“Today” show and The Washington Post.
On “Today” Sharon Detmer said she had
asked her daughter directly whether she was
having sex, though she initially denied that in
Bixler’s lawyer tried to show that Leanne
Detmer needed counseling because of conflicts
with her parents.
“Leanne Detmer’s damages were not caused
by my client,” Strong said.
Leanne Detmer testified that she had been
taking medication for anxiety attacks and had
experienced depression before she met Mills.
Detmer’s parents knew she was dating Mills
Please see LAWSUIT on 3
Read the Daily Nebraskan on the World Wide Web at dailyneb.com
Powered by Open ONI