Photo by Nebraska Dept. of Corrections
Eric R. McCain
Darren J. McCracken
Eric Ray McCain, 40, convicted 22 years ago for the murder of Gothenburg Police Sgt. Glenn Haas, is eligible for a pardon.
McCain’s sentence could be commuted on Dec. 5, according to the Nebraska Board of Pardons.
McCain was convicted Nov. 9, 1990 and sentenced to life imprisonment by then Lincoln County District Judge John Murphy.
Four months earlier, in July, McCain gunned down Haas inside the Gothenburg Police Station. McCain, who was 17 at the time, was at the station twice that night. He was first cited for criminal mischief and had been released around 2:30 a.m. But at 3 a.m. he came back and asked to speak with an officer.
Haas, who was off duty, offered to talk with him. As Haas entered the lobby McCain pulled a 30.06 rifle from a hiding spot around a corner and fatally shot Haas in the stomach.
In court, McCain said he felt the police had harassed him over a long period of time. During the trial, some classmates at Gothenburg high school wore tee-shirts to school in support of McCain, according to the website, Officer Down Memorial.
Haas left behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
When McCain was sentenced, Murphy told him, “You will have to seek forgiveness from God, because it won’t come from me.”
The Board of Pardons will convene at 1 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Governor’s Hearing Room at the State Capitol. The board will first consider any cases remaining from a previous meeting on Dec. 3. McCain’s case is the second case that will be considered, according to the Dec. 5 agenda.
For anyone interested, the Officer Down Memorial website at HERE has started a letter writing campaign to encourage the governor to deny a pardon for McCain.
More information on Haas can be seen HERE.
Haas was willingly talking to McCain even though he was off-duty that night, said Lt. Gary Young, Jr. of the Crete Police Department.
“The impressive thing about Sgt. Haas is that he died attempting to serve the community as he felt best, with a personal touch,” Young said.
Also, on Dec. 3 the Board of Pardons will consider the sentence of Darren J. McCracken of Gosper County. McCracken was sentenced Aug. 15, 1994 to life imprisonment for first degree murder of his mother, Vicky Bray.
Bray was sleeping on a downstairs sofa at the time. McCracken was just 13 years old and is now 32.