By Roseann Moring, The Omaha World-Herald

When Nebraska inmate Jeremy Herman is released sometime over the next year, he’ll have a lot to learn.

After 19 years behind bars, he has never used the Internet. The first and only time he saw an iPod, he thought it was a CD player’s remote control.

But Herman, now 36 and serving his last year for a kidnapping that resulted in his friend’s death, says his most important change came long before he learned last week that he would be released instead of serving the life sentence he agreed to.

It was years ago — he can’t recall the date — when he heard he had been forgiven by his victim’s mother, Mona Schlautman.

On Oct. 8, 1992, Herman picked up Schlautman’s son, Jeremy Drake, in a Mustang. An acquaintance, Christopher Masters, sat in the back seat.

Herman and Drake were close — one year apart in school, they worked together and slept over at each other’s houses. Had Drake survived, Herman says now, he could have changed the world.

“This is a kid that could have been a political figure,” he said.

The goal of the trip was to learn who had stolen Herman’s car stereo speakers. The plan, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, was to drive Drake around and scare him into talking.

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