Prosecutor: Man ran down, killed store worker in fit of rage
Posted: January 21, 2017 - 2:05am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha real estate agent was so enraged that a convenience store clerk wouldn't help him after the store had closed for the night that he circled in the parking lot in his pickup truck and ran over the clerk, killing him, a prosecutor said Friday.

Dirk Blume, 45, is charged with second-degree murder and using a deadly weapon in the Jan. 7 death of Seth Hansen. At a hearing Friday, the judge denied Blume bond and scheduled his next hearing for Feb. 10.

Assistant Douglas County Attorney Ryan Lindberg told the judge that witnesses came forward to report that Blume "made admissions" to hitting Hansen with his pickup around 1 a.m. on the day Hansen died. It was Omaha's first homicide of 2017.

Lindberg also suggested that Blume changed his license plates on the pickup after killing Hansen. But Blume's attorney, Joseph Risko, said the plates were changed in the days after Hansen's death as part of a routine registration renewal of the truck.

Risko didn't immediately respond to a phone message left after the hearing seeking comment.

Prosecutors say surveillance video showed Hansen was run over and killed while he was taking a trash bag to a bin in the store's parking lot after the store had closed. It also showed Blume and Hansen arguing before Hansen was run down by a white pickup believed to be Blume's, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.

"I don't know what (Blume) wanted, exactly," Kleine said after the hearing. "But it's clear he either wanted to buy something or wanted access to the store, and was angry that he didn't get it."

The Omaha World-Herald, citing anonymous police sources, reported that investigators believe Blume wanted Hansen to sell him a package of chewing tobacco and became enraged when Hansen refused to reopen the store to do so.

Kleine said he couldn't confirm that detail and that there is no arrest affidavit with such details because no arrest warrant was issued for Blume. Instead, Blume was arrested Tuesday at his west Omaha real estate office after agreeing to answer police questions there, Kleine said.

Hansen's sister, Eve Shanklin of Bellevue, attended the hearing and said it was a shock to see Blume in the courtroom.

"I'm just really thankful that the judge didn't give him bond," Shanklin said, adding that she felt for members of Blume's family who also attended the hearing.

"It just humanizes this whole thing, you know?" she said. "I mean, they're hurting, too."

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