A Bellevue man will get another chance to argue that he stabbed his roommate in self-defense.
The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in September for Darrell White, 47, because it found the jury was not given the appropriate instruction regarding self-defense. White was convicted of second-degree murder in his roommate's death.
“We're all excited for a second chance,” said White's sister, Gwen Gilbert of Kansas City, Kan.
Sarpy County District Court Judge Max Kelch had denied White's request that the jurors be told that White did not have a duty to retreat if he was in his own home.
But the higher court found that the jurors should have received that instruction.
Kelch set his bail at $500,000 — the same amount it was the first time around. He could pay $50,000 to be released.
White had argued at his first trial that he had stabbed Todd Berg, 44, in self-defense during a fight in September 2010.
Gilbert said her brother grew up in Kansas, then joined the Air Force. He left after 15 years but stayed in Nebraska because his wife was from here.
They divorced, and he moved out.
That's how he came to be roommates with Berg, a colleague of White in the service, she said. They weren't full-time roommates, she said, but Berg would spend the night on White's couch occasionally.
Gilbert said she hopes the judge will allow more testimony about what she said was previous violent behavior by Berg.
“They just made my brother look like an awful person,” she said. “He's a very, very nice person.”
Prosecutors say White stabbed Berg in the heart as he slept on a recliner. Kelch set White's new trial date, Sept. 17, on Monday.