A 22-year-old Lincoln man has pleaded no contest to charges of second-degree murder for fatally stabbing the mother of his children last New Year’s Eve. Neland Gray Jr., who was originally facing charges of first-degree murder, accepted a plea deal on Tuesday. In addition to second-degree murder, Gray Jr. pleaded no contest to use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 26.
Gray Jr. was arrested on Jan. 1, 2019, for the stabbing death of 21 year old Dijah Ybarra. Gray Jr. was the father of Ybarra’s two children, and he had previously served time for assaulting her. According to a probable cause affidavit, officers were sent to 1930 Montclair Drive around 7 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2018, on a report of a female lying in the driveway. According to the affidavit, officers found Ybarra’s body lying in the driveway with “15 puncture wounds.” She was transported to the hospital where she died a short time later.