Police in Omaha, Nebraska have arrested a man accused of killing a registered sex offender inside his home last weekend.
James Fairbanks, 43, was arrested and charged with fatally shooting 64-year-old Mattieo Condoluci. Fairbanks' ex-wife, Kelly Tamayo told Fox 42 that Fairbanks first learned of Condoluci's past while he was searching for a home in the neighborhood where the sex offender lived. Tamayo said that her ex-husband likely thought he was protecting the neighborhood after years working with abused children.
“He was dedicated to helping kids who are vulnerable and had special needs, he worked with them for his whole career in schools, in correctional facilities, in group homes,” Tamayo told the TV station.
Fairbanks also allegedly contacted Tamayo on Monday, confessing to the killing, the outlet reported on Tuesday.
"Jim contacted me yesterday afternoon to tell me he had killed a child molester. He said he was in preparation of turning himself in and he had sent an email already to the police department,” Tamayo said. “He was ready to take full responsibility for it, he knew what the consequences were."
Condoluci was first arrested in 1994 in Florida for attempting to sexually touch a child under the age of 16, according to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. He was arrested again in 2007 for sexually assaulting a child, court records show.
Tamayo said her ex-husband was concerned by Condoluci because he observed the sex offender had a swing set and wooden playhouse in his backyard. According to Fox 42, who spoke with Condoluci's landlord, Condoluci installed the playset last year when his brother and young nephew came to visit from out of state.
Fairbanks worked in a middle school alternative program, but he has since been placed on administrative leave, officials with the Omaha Public Schools say.
People have rallied to Fairbanks' case, demanding he be set free. A Facebook group "Free James Fairbanks" was started with supporters organizing a petition that calls on President Trump to pardon Fairbanks.
Fairbanks currently is being held inside Douglas County Corrections for criminal homicide.
Photo: Omaha Police Department
Records show Condoluci’s last compliance check with the Douglas County Sheriff's Department was on March 2,2020.
Tamayo said she hopes people will understand why her ex-husband reacted this way.
“I just pray for understanding and leniency when it comes to his consequences, because he is a good man and he was acting out of the goodness of his heart to protect people,” Tamayo said.