The fate of convicted killer Michael Ryan is in the hands of Richardson County
District Judge Daniel Bryan Jr.
Bryan heard arguments in Beatrice on Thursday from Ryan's defense attorney,
Jerry Soucie of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, and from John
Freudenberg, a prosecutor from the state attorney general's Office. The two
addressed Soucie's motion to have Ryan's death sentence reduced to life without
Freudenberg argued Soucie is merely trying to stall Ryan's execution, set for
March 6. Soucie dismissed that notion.
If the date holds, Ryan would be the first person executed in Nebraska since
1997 and the 1st by lethal injection.
Bryan said he would consider the arguments and try to make a timely decision.
Ryan was convicted in the cult-related 1985 killings of 26-year-old James Thimm
and 5-year-old Luke Stice near Rulo. He was sentenced to death for Thimm's
(source: Lincoln Journal Star)