Grand jury indictment charges Seward Co. deputy with manslaughter


A grand jury has returned an indictment charging Seward County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony J. Gann with manslaughter, a Class IIA felony, in the October 2023 death of Jorge Luis Santana Ramirez.

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon reported April 26 on the findings of the recent Lancaster County grand jury that convened as a result of Santana Ramirez’s death on Oct. 23, 2023.

Santana Ramirez died following a vehicle pursuit and while being apprehended by Seward County deputies on Interstate 80 in Lancaster County.

As required by law, the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office coordinated with multiple separate law enforcement agencies to investigate the death, including investigators from the Nebraska State Patrol, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and Lincoln Police Department.

Under Nebraska law, a grand jury is called whenever “a person has died while being apprehended by or while in the custody of a law enforcement officer or detention personnel.” (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1401).

It is the duty of the grand jury in such cases to inquire into whether an offense against the criminal laws of the State of Nebraska occurred regarding the death.

If 12 or more members of the 16-person grand jury determine, based on the evidence presented before it, that there is probable cause to believe an offense against the criminal law has occurred, it results in a true bill being returned and the grand jury determines the violation to be included in any indictment.

If the grand jury returns a no true bill, then the grand jury is to prepare a report with the assistance of the prosecuting attorney to briefly explain their findings and any recommendations they determine appropriate based upon the grand jury’s investigation and deliberations. 

Condon reported that on April 25, the grand jury returned a true bill, finding that probable cause exists to establish an offense against the criminal laws of the State of Nebraska and an indictment charging Gann with manslaughter.

The District Court of Lancaster County issued a warrant for Gann’s arrest. He surrendered himself and was taken into custody by law enforcement. His bond was set at $100,000 ten percent with conditions.

Gann’s his first appearance in the District Court of Lancaster County is expected to be Monday, April 29. Future court hearings will be scheduled by the District Court.

“As with other on-going investigations and criminal prosecutions, the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office will not comment further at this time,” the office said in a press release. “As with all pending criminal cases, the fact that Mr. Gann has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”