By: Kayla Bremer
Lincoln police arrested 30–year–old LaRon Branch of Omaha Friday for Manslaughter and Use of a Weapon to Commit a Felony. On Tuesday, the Lancaster County Attorney's office charged Branch with 2nd Degree Murder.
Police say Branch and stabbing victim Jarvis Long did know each other through mutual acquaintances.
Chief Jim Peschong says they believe a fight between the two happened before Long's body was found in Peter Pan Park on January 16th.
"Whether or not it really transpired there in Peter Pan Park or whether or not it transpired some place else we're still piecing that together as well," Chief Peschong said.
An autopsy showed long died of several stab wounds. According to the probable cause affidavit, Branch claims he was jumped by three men, including Long, who Branch says originally had the knife and tried to stab him.
It goes on to say that Branch told a confidential informant he fought those three men off, including taking the knife and stabbing Long.
Court documents say Branch then changed his story multiple times with investigators even saying the fight happened in an alley blocks from the park.
"There is a possibility that there may be more people involved in this and that there may be more arrests," Peschong said.
Police say they began looking at Branch as a suspect a few weeks ago after several tips came in that he was involved.
"We don't really have anything to show premeditation, that someone was waiting for Mr. Long to wind up showing up and was specifically targeting him to ultimately kill him," Peschong said.
With the 2nd degree murder charge, Branch's bond is set at $500,000. Police say more arrests are possible.
On Thursday at Peter Pan Park, a meeting is scheduled to take place at 6 pm to discuss concerns and what can be done to make the park safer.