After Omaha murder case crumbles, lawmaker calls for tougher penalties for witness tampering

By noon Wednesday, State Sen. Justin Wayne had received a handful of phone calls from constituents disheartened by the dismissal of murder charges against the man accused of killing decorated Army Sgt. Kyle LeFlore.

By shortly after noon, he had a proposal he hopes will help patch a justice system that he says effectively rewards defendants for intimidating witnesses of such crimes.

Wayne said he will introduce legislation next session to increase the penalty for witness tampering to the equivalent of the underlying crime. As it is now, any defendant who tries to influence a witness faces the lowest possible felony and one year in prison.

Wayne said bolstering the penalty was one logical step he could take after a witness backed out of her account tying Larry Goynes to the January slaying of LeFlore outside the Reign Lounge near 30th Street and Interstate 680 in Omaha. Prosecutors allege that two people — including Goynes’ aunt — had attempted to intimidate the 36-year-old woman, who eventually declined to testify. Read More.