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Kearney man serving a prison sentence for a shooting in Kearney has died in prison
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Kearney man serving a prison sentence for a shooting in Kearney has died in prison

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TECUMSEH — A Kearney man serving a prison sentence for a 2018 shooting in Kearney has died in prison.

Michael Becker, 25, of Kearney died Tuesday morning at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution where he had been since January 2019, serving a 15- to 20-year sentence for robbery and second-degree assault, both felonies.

According to a news release from the Nebraska Department of Corrections, a grand jury will convene to conduct an investigation into Becker’s death, which is standard when someone dies in the custody of law enforcement. No details as to how Becker died have been released.

On Aug. 13, 2018, Buffalo County District Court records say two masked men entered a house at 1925 Ave. F. One suspect was described as carrying a pistol in one hand and a “ka-bar” fixed blade knife in the other, while the second suspect carried a shotgun-style weapon.

One man tried to get the pistol away from one suspect, a fight ensued and the pistol went off with the bullet hitting Joshua Rose, 25, of Kearney in the head.

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The suspects later were identified as Michael Becker and Hunter Frecks, both of Minden at the time.

The investigation revealed Becker, David Estrada, then 21, and another man went to Rose’s house earlier that morning for a short time. Later that night, Becker, Frecks, Estrada and the other man returned to Rose’s house. Estrada and the other man stayed in the vehicle, while Frecks and Becker went inside.

The waiting men heard a scream and a bang, and a short time later Frecks and Becker ran out of the house. Becker pointed a handgun at Estrada and told him to drive.

The men traveled to Minden where one of them saw Frecks with a rifle. Becker had a fixed blade knife and blood on his boot. A second man also told police Becker had blood on his boots.

Estrada later was identified in a photo lineup as a man who entered Rose’s house earlier that morning, looked around, told a woman inside not to call anyone and left a short time later. Becker was identified as the shooter that night, and later was arrested on a warrant.

Rose was transported to CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney where he underwent surgery for the head wound and later was released.

In addition to Becker, Frecks was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison and is serving his time at the Omaha Correctional Center. Estrada is serving an 8 to 15 year sentence at the Lincoln Correctional Center.

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Larry Brannagan has worked in a grocery store for most of his life. His father, also Larry, owned and operated Mr. B’s Grocery Store in Wood River. Brannagan followed in his dad’s footsteps and has owned and operated his own store, Larry’s Market, in Shelton for 35 years with his wife, Joanne.

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