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Court Documents Reveal “Toxic Relationship” Between Homicide Victim and Suspect

Court documents have provided more details surrounding a stabbing that left a 21-year-old Lincoln woman dead on New Year’s Eve. On Wednesday, Lincoln Police identified the woman as Dijah Ybarra, 21. On Tuesday, they arrested Neland Tevionn Gray Jr., 21, of Lincoln, on charges of first-degree murder. Gray Jr. was the father of Ybarra’s two children, and he had previously served jail time for domestic assault, among other charges.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officers were sent to 1930 Montclair Drive around 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 on a report of a female lying in the driveway. According to the affidavit, officers found Ybarra lying in the driveway with “15 puncture wounds.” She was taken to a hospital where she died a short time later.

After Ybarra was transported, officers started canvassing the area. They talked to one witness who heard a female screaming for 10-15 seconds, came outside, and saw a dark-colored sedan leave westbound on Montclair Drive. Another witness said they saw a male repeatedly attacking a woman before leaving the area.

According to the court records, a family member of Gray Jr. said that he and Ybarra’s relationship was “toxic,” and that he had “constantly been engaged in messaging, through social media, insults to Ybarra and her new love interest.”

The documents go on to say that Gray Jr. was located and eventually brought to LPD headquarters, where he told officers that earlier in the night, he had grabbed a steak knife to protect himself from Ybarra’s new love interest. A short time later, according to the documents, Gray Jr. began assaulting and stabbing Ybarra, eventually leaving her on the street and driving away in her Chevy Impala.

In an interview with police, Gray Jr. is quoted as saying he takes “full responsibility” for the incident.

Ybarra’s two children were not present at the time of the crime. Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said officers have been called for domestic problems between Ybarra and Gray Jr. in the past, and there has been at least one previous assault by Gray Jr. on Ybarra. Police said Gray Jr. was convicted of that assault. Ybarra had previously filed a protection order against Gray Jr. for herself and her child in December 2017. In addition, court records show Gray Jr. was sentenced on charges of terroristic threats, resisting arrest, and domestic assault in June 2018. The incident took place on Dec. 2, 2017.

He was released under post-release supervision in October, after serving 110 days and granted credit for time served. As part of the post-release supervision, he was ordered to have no contact with Ybarra, and attend and successfully complete a domestic violence intervention program.

Gray Jr. made his initial court appearance on Wednesday afternoon, where he was charged with first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony.
He was denied bond.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up by family friends to help with Ybarra’s funeral expenses.


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