Judge rules man competent and schedules sentencing hearing in Sidney shooting death case

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SIDNEY, Nebraska — A 56-year-old Sidney man has been ruled competent for his sentencing on a murder conviction.

A jury found Larry Martinez guilty in May 2014 of shooting to death Mandy Kershman on July 18, 2012, in Sidney. Martinez had told officers he was angry about a text message she'd sent him. Police say he shot Kershman as he confronted her about it.

After the trial, Martinez's attorney sought a ruling on Martinez's competency. He was evaluated by three psychiatric experts. Two said he was incompetent; the third said he was competent.

Last week Judge Derek Weimer of Cheyenne County District Court ruled that Martinez was competent and set a sentencing date of Sept. 9. Martinez's first-degree murder conviction calls for a life sentence with possibility of parole.

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