A Nebraska vigilante who shot and killed a convicted sex offender will not fight the charges he faces. Authorities accused James Fairbanks of shooting Mattieo Condoluci seven times as he opened his front door.
Investigators learned that before the shooting, Fairbanks heavily researched vigilante justice and the potential consequences. According to Omaha World-Herald, he went online and searched for news articles about other people who took the law into their own hands to find out what they were charged with, what penalties they faced, and if they were acquitted of the charges. He also googled the difference between second-degree murder and self-defense.
In an anonymous letter to the media, Fairbanks confessed to the killing. He said he was looking to rent a home in the neighborhood and checked the state's sex offender database to see if anybody in the area was on the list. He learned that Condoluci was on the list and drove by his home.
Fairbanks said that what he saw made him "literally ill." As he drove by, Condoluci was washing his car, which Fairbanks thought he was doing as an excuse to leer at neighborhood children. He also noticed playground equipment in the backyard, which Fairbanks assumed he used to lure children to his home.
Fairbanks went to Condoluci's house and confronted him about being a registered sex offender. During the confrontation, Fairbanks opened fire with a 9mm semiautomatic rifle, striking him seven times. When police arrived, Condoluci was dead.
The day after Fairbanks sent his confession letter to the media, he was taken into custody. He initially tried to argue he was acting in self-defense but ultimately decided not to contest the second-degree murder charge.
"There are a lot of criminals in the world. You don't get to confront them and then try to claim self-defense. Especially when you do all this research on someone a week before you murder them," prosecutor Brenda Beadle said.
Photo: Omaha Police Department