Grand jury indicts two in Jefferson City homicide

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Two people were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday in connection with the death of Nilez R. Nichols of Jefferson City.

Semaj L. Harris, 20, was indicted on counts of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, and Bruce L. Thomas, 15, was indicted on counts of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

Harris had previously been charged for the same crimes in Cole County court, and Thomas had been charged with accessory to murder in the second-degree and first-degree robbery. 

The charges stem from the Nov. 19 death of 19-year-old Nichols in the 1900 block of Stadium Boulevard. Jefferson City police believe Nichols was shot during a marijuana deal.

According to court documents, Thomas went to the residence in order to buy marijuana and ask about a gun sale. Thomas admitted to police that he went to the home with the intention of stealing the marijuana. Thomas got in a fight with the resident of the apartment over the drugs and the gun and then stole both the drugs and the gun, court documents said.

The resident asked his roommate, Nichols, to chase after the alleged robber. The court documents state that a co-defendant in the case shot Nichols, who later died from the injuries.

Police said in court documents that Harris barged into the home with a gun to find Nichols and an unnamed "co-defendant" fighting over a gun. According to police, Harris pointed his gun at the two and demanded they stop fighting. The probable cause statement in Harris' case said that Nichols chased them from his home.

ABC 17 News has reached out to the Cole County prosecutor to find out why the two men were indicted on the charges and is waiting to hear back.

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