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Victims in Edgewood shooting now facing federal indictment for drug and gun charges
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Victims in Edgewood shooting now facing federal indictment for drug and gun charges

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Two Lincoln men shot in the parking lot of Edgewood Cinema on Aug. 2 now are facing drug and gun charges themselves, along with a third man in the car with them. 

A grand jury has indicted Christopher Duncan, 18; Jayden Prentice, 19; and Riley Mills, 19; for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine and psilocyn and possession of two firearms — a Romarm/Cugir Mini Draco 7.62 x 39 mm-caliber firearm and a Taurus 9 mm-caliber handgun — in furtherance of the drug crime. 

The drug charge carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and the gun charge an additional seven years to life. 

The indictment didn't make clear the amount of drugs found in the car or where or how exactly the guns were found.

2 teens shot; witnesses report gunfire exchange in southeast Lincoln

And Mike Norris, chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office, said he couldn't provide any additional information, including why the alleged shooter hasn't been charged federally at this point. 

But, at a hearing last week, Lincoln Police Officer Brian Agnew, a detective in the gang unit, testified that they found Duncan on the ground, a trail of blood from him to the driver's side door of his Mercedes.

There was a .45-caliber handgun found between Duncan's car and where he collapsed. Agnew said the gun was believed to have been dropped by the suspected shooter, who was in a Kia.

There was a second pool of blood, where Prentice had been pulled out of the passenger front seat of the car. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Molsen showed Agnew a photo of the front-seat passenger side of the car.

"And in the picture, do we see what was later discovered to be approximately a half-pound of marijuana in a Ziploc bag?'" he asked.

Lincoln teens shot outside Edgewood movie theater identified; police seek witnesses

Agnew said the bag had been next to Prentice's legs or feet, along with a Taurus 9mm handgun, and a backpack with more marijuana.

They found a bag of pills marked to look like Xanax in the trunk, though testing revealed it wasn't a controlled substance. 

He said they also found a large amount of currency spilling out of the backseat, where Mills had been, a single shell casing next to the money and the Mini Draco in the backseat.

Mills wasn't injured in the shooting.

Two weeks after the shooting, police arrested Buongkhoy Wal, 17, and state prosecutors charged him in state court with first-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony for his alleged role in the shooting.

Lincoln teen accused of being accessory to shooting outside Edgewood Cinema

They allege Wal fired at the teens, striking Prentice, but said investigators believe there were additional passengers in the Kia, which was found days later with two bullet holes on the passenger side.

The alleged driver, Xavier Gary, 17, also was charged with being an accessory to the shooting.

Police said Wal had arranged to meet with Prentice and Duncan in the theater parking lot and described the shooting as "targeted."

In the new indictment, the three teenagers have since made first appearances on the charges and have pleaded not guilty. Duncan, whose leg had to be amputated as a result of the shooting, has been released pending trial. Prentice and Mills remain in custody. 

Lincoln police arrest alleged gunman in Edgewood shooting; victims still hospitalized

They were given a tentative trial date in December.

On Thursday, Prentice's family expressed concerns about Prentice not being able to access the care he needs at the Saline County Jail, where he's being held on the indictment, and said he has to resort to buying soft foods from the commissary.

They told the Journal Star he still is recovering after being shot.

The bullet tore through his cheek and neck before lodging near his spinal cord, ear canal and throat, requiring extensive surgeries and ongoing therapy.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart denied a motion to release Prentice pending trial at the end of a hearing last week. 

Lincoln teen charged in Edgewood theater shooting also connected to robberies, police say

Prentice's federal public defender, Jessica Milburn, said she understood the concerns but that Prentice has changed so much in the last couple of months as a result of the shooting, and that the risk of danger has subsided considerably.

She said he could be placed with his mother safely. 

"I don't think it should be overlooked that Mr. Prentice was a victim in this case," Milburn said. "He could have died."

Molsen said it looks like this was probably a robbery.

"The fact that Prentice's group essentially lost the gunfight … is nothing more than a matter of luck," he said. "The situation could have easily been reversed where the other side was shot."

He said any number of people in the shopping area could have caught a stray bullet and been shot.

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

On Twitter @LJSpilger

Reporter Chris Dunker contributed to this story.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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