The Nebraska Supreme Court has denied postconviction relief for convicted Scottsbluff murderer Raymond Mata, Jr.
Mata argued the district court erred in denying his constitutional claims that he was made to wear shackles in front of the jury during jury selection, overruling his claims that the sentencing scheme requiring a judge to make factual findings to impose the death penalty was unconstitutional, and overruling his claims that his constitutional rights were violated by the Legislature’s passing a bill repealing the death penalty but a public referendum reimposing it.
The high court rejected all of Mata’s claims, and ruled the district court did not err in denying his motion for postconviction relief.
Mata was convicted and sentenced to death in 2000 for killing and dismembering his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, Adam Gomez.
The trial was moved from Scotts Bluff County Court to Keith County because of local publicity surrounding the case.
The case brought tears to jurors’ eyes as prosecutors described how Mata fed parts of the boy’s body to a dog, and kept some of his remains in a freezer in the home to intimidate the boy’s mother.