Keith Allen found guilty of first-degree murder

After 17 months, the Torres family has justice for 25-year-old Brett’s death.
Keith Allen
Keith Allen

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - After 17 months, the Torres family has justice for 25-year-old Brett’s death.

A jury of nine men and three women found Keith Allen guilty of first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony on Wednesday.

The jury received the case at 11:50 a.m. and deliberated for three and half hours.

NBC Nebraska News 2 spoke with the victim’s father after the trial.

“Bringing it all back for a person to relive is just too much,” said Brett Torres’s father Ray. “I wish that nobody ever has to go through this ever.”

Allen bowed his head as he received the verdict in Lincoln County District Court for the shooting death of Brett Torres on May 22, 2020.

“I lost my best friend, my hunting buddy, and my son,” Torres said.

Over the last week and a half, the jury heard testimony from law enforcement, forensic experts, to even testimony from both sides of the defense and prosecuting team before giving their verdict to district judge Richard Birch.

“He was just the kindest person you would ever meet and he would help you if you asked him for help,” said Torres. “Yes he was a big person and he scared a lot of people, but that wasn’t what it was about.”

While Chief Deputy County Attorney Tanya Roberts-Connick and Defense Attorney Todd Lancaster took turns stating their case whether Allen, now 45, acted in self-defense and Torres was the aggressor, the evidence was clear for jurors.

“Shooting someone nine times was the intent,” said Roberts Connick. “He was trying to kill Mr. Torres.”

Riley Shakin, who dated Torres for four months, testified Tuesday that Torres was physically abusive and strangled her dog because he got into their pizza and made a mess. She also recounted a domestic dispute she had with Torres on January 26, 2020 that left her in the hospital with a concussion and bruising in her pelvis and ribs.

Lancaster honed in on the fact that Allen feared Torres was going to kill him based on video he believed was Torres shooting a gun and the threatening text messages he received through Amanda Beall’s cell phone. Beall had an on-again, off-again relationship with both men.

“It’s clear who these text messages are intended for,” Lancaster said. “There were threats the day before and he believed he was going to get shot.”

“It was just too much to take at one point, but justice was served today,” said Torres. “I feel that nobody won, but now I can honestly lay my son to rest.

Allen is scheduled for sentencing on December 20 at 10:00 a.m.