An Omaha, Neb., man who fatally shot a convicted sex offender during an altercation on May 14 said his actions were justified and he expects to be acquitted of first-degree murder when his case proceeds to trial.
James Fairbanks, 43, was imprisoned after he admitted to shooting Mattieo Condoluci during a confrontation at his North Omaha home. Condoluci, who died at age 64, was twice convicted on sex crimes and has been accused of sexual assault on multiple other occasions, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Fairbanks said he took a gun to Condoluci’s house, located on a street where he planned to move, with the intent of warning him not to hurt anyone else. The two exchanged words, and Fairbanks claimed he shot Condoluci in the chest after the larger man started rushing toward him.
“I’m sure, under the law, I’m guilty,” Fairbanks told the newspaper. “However, I do believe, if they pick 12 Omahans to put in the jury box, some if not most will agree that the law failed in protecting our children in this case, and what I did was — maybe not completely right — was justified, and not send me away for the rest of my life.”
Fairbanks was arrested days after the shooting and charged with first-degree murder after he emailed local news outlets admitting to his actions. He was being held in prison without bail.
Fairbanks learned of Condoluci’s past after checking a local database of registered sex offenders prior to his planned move. He said he felt Condoluci was a “direct and imminent threat” to children in the neighborhood and was willing to plead guilty on the condition that local officials adopt harsher penalties for sex offenders.
Chief Deputy Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle told the World-Herald she disagreed with Fairbanks’ assertion that he would be acquitted at trial.
“I don’t classify somebody who would kill somebody in cold blood a hero,” Beadle said. “He doesn’t get to be the judge and jury. That’s why we have a system in place."