NORFOLK, NEBRASKA – Death-row inmate Jorge Galindo has filed a petition in federal court seeking to overturn his convictions and death sentence for the 2002 U.S. Bank killings in Norfolk. This move follows a failed attempt in the Nebraska Supreme Court to rehear his case, after a split decision last September upheld a district court judge’s denial of Galindo’s request for postconviction relief without a hearing.
Galindo, along with Jose Sandoval and Erick Vela, was convicted of killing five people – Lola Elwood, Lisa Bryant, Jo Mausbach, Samuel Sun, and Evonne Tuttle – during a botched bank robbery. Despite leaving the bank empty-handed, the trio received the death penalty and were subsequently locked up. All automatic appeals have been rejected.
In 2019, Galindo filed a motion for postconviction relief, citing prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective counsel. The Nebraska Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case last year. Galindo’s attorney, Adam Sipple, argued that Galindo should have been granted a hearing to explore allegations of the county attorney’s involvement in a criminal drug ring and the shielding of himself from federal scrutiny.
While the majority of the Nebraska Supreme Court found that Galindo’s allegations, even if proven, would amount to harmless error, Justice Jonathan Papik dissented, stating that Galindo should have been granted an evidentiary hearing.
In December, Galindo’s attorney filed a motion to stay the mandate as Galindo seeks federal review. Two days later, federal public defenders filed a 375-page petition for a writ of habeas corpus on Galindo’s behalf, raising 37 claims.
Galindo’s case is one of Nebraska’s notable death penalty cases, and his ongoing legal battle continues to attract attention as the process unfolds.