A fourth man now stands accused of conspiring to commit a home-invasion robbery July 31 that left a Lincoln woman dead, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

Ira Morrow, a 33-year-old Omaha man, made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Lincoln, where his court-appointed attorney, Nancy Peterson, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart ordered that Morrow remain in custody pending trial.

He hasn't yet been given a trial date.

In January, a grand jury indicted Tawhyne Patterson Sr., Damon Williams and his brother Dante Williams with two counts: using a firearm resulting in Jessica Brandon’s murder during a crime of violence; and attempted interference with commerce by trying to rob $85,000 and marijuana.

Morrow has been indicted only on the second charge.

At a hearing earlier this year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Woods said investigators believe Patterson and Damon and Dante Williams had tried to rob Brandon’s boyfriend, Michael Robertson, of drugs and cash, and that Brandon, 36, was shot and killed in the process.

Woods said the three were caught on camera, along with a fourth man, apparently casing Brandon and Robertson's home with a gun and baseball bat and ski masks a night before the robbery.

Morrow was identified as the fourth person in the video, which was released to the public and led to tips, Lincoln police said in a news release Thursday after his arrest.

"The information generated from citizens was crucial in identifying the people arrested for Jessica's homicide," police said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.


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