Drug debt cost Ralston woman her life and netted a life sentence for the man who killed her

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Shooting victim, 18, walks into hospital with life-threatening injuries

Ricardo Escobedo Jr. was collecting a drug lord’s meth debt when he shot a 42-year-old Ralston woman in the head, killing her.

Escobedo broke into a Ralston apartment on Oct. 18, 2013 to collect money from Aimee Kearns, 42, who had run more than 10 pounds of meth for the Latin Kings cartel.

In the course of acting as the cartel’s heavy, Escobedo panicked and shot Kearns in her garden-level apartment at Orleans Square, 84th and L Streets. When DNA connected him to the crime, Escobedo — 28 now, 22 then — refused to give names of the man who was with him or the gang leaders he was working for.

Escobedo had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and weapon use and faced anywhere from 25 years to life in prison.

This week, Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon said he wasn’t inclined to give Escobedo mercy — noting that Escobedo gave Kearns none. In turn, Bataillon imposed a life sentence. He tacked on 40 years for weapon use.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said the sentence was appropriate, considering the brutality involved. Sign up for World-Herald news alerts

Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.Run through a national database of DNA profiles, Escobedo’s prison sample connected him to blood that was found on a broken window at the apartment in which Kearns lived.The DNA test indicated that the chances of the blood belonging to anyone but Escobedo were 1 in […]

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