By Todd Cooper . . .
James Fairbanks found out Wednesday what wannabe vigilantism costs you.
Twenty to 35 years in prison, real time.
In May 2020, Fairbanks decided that Mattieo Condoluci didn’t deserve to live because Condoluci had been convicted twice of child molestation — in 1994 in Florida and in 2007 in Sarpy County.
Prosecutors suggested that the killing was premeditated, that Fairbanks had sought to hunt down sex offenders, even mapping out a path to another child molester.
He ended up at Condoluci’s rental home in northeast Omaha, where he riddled the 64-year-old man with seven shots, many to his torso, one to his temple.
His version: He went to warn Condoluci to stay away from children when Condoluci rushed him at the front door.
Prosecutors’ version: He assassinated Condoluci in a twisted attempt to be classified as a hero.
Douglas County District Judge Russell Bowie listened to both sides before imposing a prison sentence of 40 to 70 years. Under state law, which cuts most sentences in half, Fairbanks must serve 20 years in prison before he is eligible for parole; absent parole, he’ll serve 35 years.
Does he regret killing Condoluci?
“I do,” he said.
Asked if it was because he had abandoned his own children or because he killed a man, Fairbanks said, “I’ll have to think about it.”