Sparks man claims "self-defense" in trespass murder case

September 10, 2014

This past May, 73-year-old retired school teacher Wayne Burgarello shot two people allegedly trespassing in his Sparks home. Neither of the alleged trespassers were armed, and one of them died from the shooting. Today Burgarello pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and attempted murder.

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Burgarello's home is a duplex that has been frequently burglarized. He reportedly claims he was acting in accordance with Nevada's "self-defense" laws. Burgarello's bail was initially set at 2 million dollars but was eventually reduced to $150,000, which allowed him to bail out this past August.

This case is another in a string of incidents that calls attention to Nevada's "stand your ground" laws. The next court hearing in this case is October 15, 2014. For more on this story, go to: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada/not-guilty-plea-sparks-trespass-killing

Indictment expected for pastor suspected of Las Vegas murder

Last week a Nevada murder charge was dismissed against thirty-five-year-old California pastor Robert Cox in anticipation of a grand jury indictment in the near future. Cox is suspected of causing the death of a fifty-five-year-old man during an alleged altercation last year outside Four Kegs on Jones and the I-95. The victim languished in Summerlin Hospital Medical Center for months before dying.

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The incident took place while Cox participated in a ministry outreach trip in Las Vegas with members of the Place or Refuge Church of Manteca. The victim reportedly approached the group in the parking lot, and a fight broke out. The victim fell backwards and sustained severe head trauma. Authorities ruled his death a homicide because the initial cause of his injuries was the alleged argument.

Cox claims his story of what happened that night never changed, and that he is trusting God as the legal process plays itself out. He and his wife are hoping to adopt more children once the case is over. To learn more about this story, go to: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada/judge-dismisses-murder-charge-against-california-pastor-grand-jury-still-hearing-case


$2 million bail set for retired teacher charged with murder

Last week a Reno judge set a $2 million bail for 73-year-old Wayne Burgarello, a former teacher, who is charged with murdering an unarmed trespasser and attempting to murder another earlier this year. Burgarello claims he shot the victims in self-defense in alliance with Nevada’s "stand your ground" law.

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Burgarello owned several weapons including long-barreled guns, hand guns, knives and brass knuckles (which people are not allowed to possess in Nevada). He says that the male victim physically threatened him, though the prosecution argues the defendant never faced a threat to his safety.

It may not be possible for Burgarello to make bail since his assets total only $150,000. While he is in jail, the state will also shoulder the burden of administering his medication.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26th. It is expected that victim Janai Wilson will testify how she and the other victim were asleep when Burgarello walked in on them and began yelling at them prior to the shooting.

For more on this story, go to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dead Nevada prisoner has murder conviction reversed

Last week the Nevada Supreme Court reversed a dead inmate’s murder conviction on appeal due to a procedural error in his trial. Five-and-a-half years ago Ronnie Brass was sentenced to life in Nevada State Prison for killing Earnest Mitchell, though two years ago Brass was murdered himself while in custody.

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Had Brass lived, the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision would allow him to get a new trial. Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas wrote that,

“Although the appellant is deceased, rectifying a constitutional error nevertheless benefits society because it decreases the chances that another person would fall victim to the same error.”

Ronnie’s brother Jermaine Brass was sentenced to life as well in the same case, and he received a new trial on the same procedural grounds that let to Ronnie Brass’s successful appeal. During the original trial, an African-American juror was dismissed discriminatorily, which is a constitutional error that warrants a reversal of conviction and new trial. Jermaine Brass remains in custody.

This case is significant because deceased defendants in criminal cases have not been allowed to have convictions reversed on appeal. However, the Nevada Supreme Court’s actions show that such appeals may be heard as long as a personal representative of the defendant is named—in this case, the defendant’s mother.

Read more about this story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Las Vegas Prostitute Claims She Killed Pimp in Self-Defense

October 15, 2013

A 43-year-old prostitute was arrested Saturday for allegedly stabbing her pimp to death in his Las Vegas residence. She reportedly told police he threatened to kill her, which is why she struck back. The prostitute faces charges for committing the Nevada crime of murder with a deadly weapon.

Las Vegas Murder Defense

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into two degrees: First and second. First degree murder comprises premeditated killing as well as homicide committed in perpetration of a felony ("felony-murder"). Second degree murder comprises extremely reckless killing (such as playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun). Typical defenses include mistaken identity or self-defense.

Continue reading "Las Vegas Prostitute Claims She Killed Pimp in Self-Defense" »

Las Vegas Man Arrested for Killing Girlfriend with Beer Mug

September 25, 2013

Last week Las Vegas police arrested a 61-year-old man for allegedly killing his girlfriend with a beer mug following an argument in her motor home. The suspect reportedly admitted to hitting her seven or eight times but never meant to cause death. The suspect faces a charge of the Nevada crime of murder with a deadly weapon.

Las Vegas Murder Defense

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first- and second-degree murder. First degree murder comprises premeditated killing as well as killings perpetrated in the commission of a felony. Second-degree murder is extremely reckless killing done without premeditation--the classic example is playing Russian Roulette.

Continue reading "Las Vegas Man Arrested for Killing Girlfriend with Beer Mug" »

Mother and Daughter in Las Vegas Face Life in Prison for Murder

Earlier this week a Las Vegas judge sentenced a 47-year-old woman and her 27-year-old daughter to possible life sentences in prison for killing a 73-year-old woman for her collection of coins. The defendants had pleaded guilty to beating the victim with wood and stabbing her with a knife in April of 2011. After the murder, the defendants sold the coins to a pawnshop.

Las Vegas Murder SentenceThe Nevada crime of murder is divided into the two sub-offenses of first-degree and second-degree. First degree murder is the most serious kind, and it encompasses premeditated killing as well as "felony murder," which is homicide committed in the perpetration of a felony or battery. Second degree murder encompasses unpremeditated but extremely reckless killing, such as the game of Russian Roulette.

Continue reading "Mother and Daughter in Las Vegas Face Life in Prison for Murder" »

Suspect in Las Vegas Strip Shooting Arrested

Las Vegas Murder Arrest
The fugitive suspect in last week's prostitution-related shooting on the Las Vegas Strip was arrested yesterday near L.A. The twenty-six-year-old pimp is accused of firing at a twenty-seven-year-old rapper, which not only killed him but also caused a car crash that killed two others. The suspect faces charges for the Nevada crime of murder.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first degree and second degree. First degree murder is premeditated killing or killing done in the commission of a felony such a burglary, robbery, or battery. Second degree murder is unpremeditated killing done with extreme recklessness--the classic example is playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun.

Continue reading "Suspect in Las Vegas Strip Shooting Arrested" »

2 Arrested for Murder Outside Las Vegas Convenience Store

January 9, 2013

Nevada Murder ArrestYesterday, two people were arrested on charges of committing the Nevada crime of murder during an altercation outside of a Las Vegas convenient store. The reported murder weapon was a pole. The two suspects are in custody at the Clark County Detention Center. The victim died at the hospital.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into two degrees: First degree murder is premeditated killing done with malice aforethought or a homicide done in commission of a felony. Second degree murder is extremely reckless killing done without premeditation. A common example is playing Russian Roulette.

Continue reading "2 Arrested for Murder Outside Las Vegas Convenience Store" »

33-Year-Old Murder Charges Dropped in Las Vegas

December 18, 2012

gavel_4534073.jpgYesterday a Las Vegas judge dropped murder charges against a seventy-seven-year-old former millionaire accused of killing his wife's lover in 1979. However prosecutors can re-file charges in the future if incriminating evidence comes to light. The key witness for the prosecution died a year ago.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into two sub-crimes: First degree, and Second degree. First degree murder is premeditated killing or killing done in furtherance of another felony. Second degree murder is unpremeditated but extremely reckless killing, such as playing Russian roulette.

Maximum penalties for the Nevada crime of murder depend on the degree. The maximum penalty for second degree murder is life in prison. But first-degree murder can potentially carry the death penalty if the court finds at least one aggravating factor and that these aggravating factors outweigh any mitigating factors. Furthermore, defendants who are retarded or under eighteen at the time of the killing may not receive the death penalty.

Continue reading "33-Year-Old Murder Charges Dropped in Las Vegas" »

Las Vegas Police Say Woman Deliberately Ran Over Boyfriend

November 21, 2012

Monday night in Las Vegas a thirty-three year old woman reportedly ran over her boyfriend in a car on purpose, killing him. Police believe the coupled had been fighting prior to the incident. The woman was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on murder charges.

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The Clark County Detention Center is located at 330 S. Casino Center Blvd., Las Vegas NV 89101. Inmates in the jail may not receive phone calls unless it's an emergency situation. However inmates are given opportunities to make outgoing collect calls.

Continue reading "Las Vegas Police Say Woman Deliberately Ran Over Boyfriend" »

Elko Teen Gets Life in Prison for Murder

August 28, 2012

Last week in Elko a 19-year-old boy was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the killing of a classmate last year. The defendant had pleaded guilty to the Nevada crime of murder in the first degree. His co-conspirator in the crime had earlier pleaded to second degree murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

Nevada Murder Conviction

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first-degree and second-degree. First degree murder constitutes deliberate killings done with malice aforethought as well as killings done in the perpetration of felonies. In contrast, second-degree murders are not premeditated but are the result of extremely reckless behavior that a reasonable person should have known would probably result in death.

Continue reading "Elko Teen Gets Life in Prison for Murder" »

Las Vegas Defense Group Wins Dismissal in Attempted Murder Case

August 27, 2012

Las Vegas Defense Group Attorney Michael CastilloLast week, Clark County District Court Judge Abbi Silver dropped an indictment against a 64-year-old Las Vegas Defense Group client accused of shooting her son in June of 2011. In April, our client was charged with attempted murder, battery, and intimidating a witness. Together, these felonies could have carried several decades in prison.

Las Vegas Defense Group attorney Michael Castillo argued to the judge that the Clark County District Attorney's Office erred by presenting prejudicial evidence to the grand jury. Judge Silver agreed that the evidence was prejudicial because the state failed to admonish the grand jury to disregard the evidence when deliberating about the shooting. Mr. Castillo said that our client, "continues to steadfastly maintain her innocence."

Continue reading "Las Vegas Defense Group Wins Dismissal in Attempted Murder Case" »

Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty for Convicted Murderer

August 7, 2012

The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld capital punishment for a defendant convicted of raping and murdering a college student in Reno in 2008. The victim was a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College. The court said that the grisly and inhumane nature of the crime "warrants the imposition of death."

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The Nevada crime of murder is divided into two classes: First degree and second degree. First degree is the worst kind, and it includes premeditated murder or murder done while carrying out a felony. Second degree murder isn't premeditated, but the defendant's behavior is so reckless that death is a probable outcome--a classic example is playing Russian roulette.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder range from twenty-five years in prison (with the possibility of parole after 10 years) to life in prison or even death. However only first degree murder may carry capital punishment. And courts may not impose death unless it finds one or more aggravating factors which outweigh any mitigating factors.

For more on this story read: http://www.lvrj.com/news/justices-uphold-death-for-college-student-s-killer-164988406.html

For more information on the Nevada crime of murder, watch our informational video:


Convicted Murderer Tries to Escape North Las Vegas Prison

On Friday a fifty-nine year old inmate at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center in North Las Vegas attempted to escape by disguising her appearance. She's serving a sentence for violating Nevada murder law for the 1998 death of her mother. The inmate was caught before she could exit the facility.

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Nevada murder law draws a distinction between first degree murder and second degree murder. First degree is premeditated homicide or murder done while committing a felony ("felony murder"). Second degree murder isn't premeditated but is done out of extreme recklessness (such as "Russian roulette").

Nevada murder law allows for the death penalty in first degree murder convictions if the prosecution can show that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors. Otherwise the court may impose as much as a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Defendants who were minors or mentally retarded at the time of the crime may not be given capital punishment.

For more information go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/murderer-attempts-escape-from-women-s-prison-in-north-las-vegas-163232456.html

To learn more about beating a murder rap in Las Vegas, watch our informational video:

Las Vegas Man Sentenced for Strangling Wife

A fifty-one year old man was sentenced today for strangling his wife two years ago. Two months ago he pleaded guilty to the Nevada crime of murder through an Alford plea, where he didn't have to admit guilt but concedes there's sufficient evidence to convict him. The judge handed down a sentence of ten years to life in prison.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first degree murder and second degree murder. The most serious is first degree, which comprises premeditated killings and homicides done in the perpetration of a felony. Second degree murder is unintentional but extremely reckless killing, such as throwing a heavy object off a roof in a crowded area.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder range from twenty-five years up to life in prison. Death can be imposed only if the court finds at least one aggravating circumstance that outweighs all the mitigating circumstances. The judge can increase a prison sentence by twenty years if the defendant used a deadly weapon.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-sentenced-to-prison-for-killing-his-schoolteacher-wife-150978965.html

To learn more about Nevada murder law, watch our informational video:

Las Vegas Man Busted in Plot to Murder Wife

April 24, 2012

Over the weekend a man was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill his wife by hiring a hitman for $2,000. The hitman turned out to be an undercover officer, who was reportedly solicited by the man to break into their home, kill the wife, beat the man up, and steal valuables to make it look like a home invasion. The man faces charges for the solicitation of the Nevada crime of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and burglary.

The Nevada crime of murder is the most serious crime in Nevada criminal law. Typical defenses include false allegations, self-defense, or accident. First degree murder includes premeditated murder or felony murder, while second degree murder includes extremely reckless unintentional killing.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder range from fifty years in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty years to a life sentence with no parole or the death penalty. The death penalty may not be imposed on defendants who are mentally retarded or who were juveniles at the time of the murder. If the court finds that any mitigating circumstances outweigh any aggravating circumstances, then the death penalty may not be imposed either.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/police-man-arrested-in-plot-to-kill-wife-148599275.html

To learn about fighting charges of the Nevada crime of murder, watch our informational video:


Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Schoolteacher Wife

March 20, 2012

Last week, a 51-year-old man entered a guilty plea for second-degree murder in connection with his alleged 2010 strangling of his wife, who was a teacher at Molasky Middle School. The man entered an "Alford plea," where he technically admits no guilt but acknowledges that the state has sufficient evidence to convict him. He will be sentenced in May and faces up to a life sentence.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first-degree and second degree. The most serious is first degree, which encompasses premeditated homicides or homicides done during the commission of another felony such as robbery or burglary. Second degree is not premeditated killing; rather, it's killing done as the result of extreme recklessness: an example is Russian Roulette.

Penalties for committing the Nevada crime of murder range from fifty years in prison to life in prison or the death penalty. However, a court may hand down capital punishment only if it finds that there's at least one aggravating circumstance, and that any aggravating circumstances outweigh any mitigating circumstances. An example of an aggravating circumstance is that the defendant tortured the person prior to killing him or her. A mitigating circumstance is that the defendant had a rough childhood.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/husband-pleads-guilty-in-2010-death-of-wife-who-was-molasky-middle-school-teacher-143420546.html

To learn more about the Nevada crime of murder, including attempted murder, watch our informational video:

Two Men Get Life Sentences for 2007 Murder in Las Vegas

March 14, 2012

Last week two men received life sentences in Las Vegas after pleading guilty to the Nevada crime of murder. They allegedly shot and killed a Salvadoran man in July of 2007. Police say the slaying was gang-related.

The Nevada crime of murder is the gravest offense in the state and carries the most serious penalties. First degree murder is killing done with "malice aforethought" (on purpose), and second degree murder is unintentional killing done with extreme recklessness (such as by playing Russian roulette). Typical defenses to murder are self-defense, accident, or false allegations.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder range from fifty years in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty years to a life sentence with no parole or even capital punishment. The court may not impose death unless it finds that there is at least one aggravating circumstance, and that the aggravating circumstances overshadow all the mitigating circumstances. The only defendants not eligible for the death penalty in a first degree murder case are those who are under eighteen at the time of the incident or who are mentally retarded.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/two-get-life-sentences-for-slaying-of-salvadoran-man-142396795.html

To learn about Nevada murder law, watch our informational video:

Man Arrested for 2011 Strip Club Shooting

Last week a twenty-seven year old man was arrested for allegedly committing the Nevada crime of murder stemming from a strip club shooting in 2011. He was allegedly asked to leave the club and opened fire on a twenty-three year old outside the club, who died. Police suspect the incident was gang related.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first degree and second degree: First degree murder is premeditated killing or a homicide done while carrying out another felony ("felony murder"). Second degree murder is homicide caused by extreme recklessness, such as Russian Roulette. Defenses to murder charges include false allegations, self-defense, and lack of intent.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder may include either 50 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, life in prison with no parole, or capital punishment. The state may not execute a defendant unless the court finds that there aggravating circumstances that outweigh the mitigating ones. People who are mentally retarded or who are under eighteen at the time of the incident may not be executed.


For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-arrested-in-2011-strip-club-shooting-141197153.html

To learn about beating a murder rap in Las Vegas, watch our informational video:

Trial Set for Brother Murder Death in Reno

November 29, 2011

A forty-eight-year old Reno man faces a June trial for allegedly shooting and killing his younger brother in September. The defendant allegedly battered the victim and stole his phone just hours before the fatal shooting. The defendant was reportedly on anti-psychotic medication and has mental health problems.

The Nevada crime of murder is the most serious offense in the state. It's defined as the unlawful killing of someone with malice aforethought. First degree murder is premeditated killing or killing in the course of carrying out another felony. Second degree murder is extremely reckless killing, such as playing Russian Roulette.

Penalties for committing the Nevada crime of murder range from a fifty year prison sentence to life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Common defenses include: that the defendant killed out of self-defense, that the incident was an accident (and therefore lacked malice aforethought), or that there's insufficient evidence to convict the defendant. If the victim was age sixty or older, the judge may order an additional sentence of up to twenty years.

To read more about this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/trial-set-for-northern-nevada-man-held-in-brother-s-death-134483658.html

To learn more about the Nevada crime of murder watch our information video:

Man Pleads Guilty to Henderson Murder

November 4, 2011

Yesterday a twenty-eight year old man pleaded guilty to conspiracy, possession of stolen property, armed robbery, burglary, possession of a firearm by an ex-felon, and the Nevada crime of murder for beating an eighty-two year old man to death in Henderson in 2009. Prosecutors won't be seeking capital punishment in return for the plea agreement. Four other people have been charged in connection with the attack.

The Nevada crime of murder comprises premeditated killing (first-degree) and extremely reckless killing (second-degree). Murder is a distinct crime from manslaughter, which is an unlawful killing without premeditation or malice. Voluntary manslaughter is homicide done in the heat of passion. Involuntary manslaughter is homicide that resulted from an act of negligence.

The punishment for committing the Nevada crime of murder may be either fifty years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, life in prison with no parole, or the death penalty. The death penalty may be imposed only if the jury finds at least one aggravating factor which outweighs all the mitigating factors, if any. Convicted murderers who were minors at the time may not be executed for it.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-pleads-guilty-in-beating-death-of-man-82-133208393.html

To learn more about the Nevada crime of murder, watch our informational video:

Las Vegas Security Guard Faces Homicide Charges

October 26, 2011

A security guard who allegedly shot a gun into the air to quell a crowd at a party has been arrested for violating Nevada murder law. The shot reportedly killed a seventeen-year old. The security guard is fifty years old.

Nevada murder law comprises the most serious crimes in the state. The unlawful killing of another carries a possible life sentence with or without the possibility of parole. The most lenient sentence is fifty years in prison with the possibility of parole.

In some cases defendants convicted of murder in Nevada may be put to death. In order for this to happen a jury must find at least one aggravating factor, and it must outweigh any mitigating factors. An example of an aggravating factor is that the defendant tortured the victim, and a mitigating factor is that the defendant was abused as a child.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/security-guard-arrested-in-teen-s-death-132356898.html

To learn more about Nevada murder law, watch our informational video:


Man Convicted in Las Vegas for Highway Robbery and Slaying

October 20, 2011

Last week the suspect in a 2009 highway robbery and killing case was convicted at trial of conspiracy, armed robbery, and the Nevada crime of murder. The trial lasted a week, and the jury deliberated for days. The defendant's attorney says they'll appeal the verdict.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first degree and second degree. First degree murder comprises all intentional killing with malice aforethought, as well as killings done while committing another felony. Second degree murder is killing without malice aforethought, but where the person was acting so recklessly that he/she should have known that death could result.

Penalties for the Nevada crime of murder can include the death penalty if the jury finds at least one aggravating factor that outweighs any mitigating factors. Otherwise the defendant faces life in prison with or without the possibility of parole after twenty years. The most lenient sentence is fifty years with the possibility of parole after twenty years.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-found-guilty-in-highway-robbery-death-131898443.html

To learn about the Nevada crime of murder, watch our informational video:


State Seeks Death Penalty in Las Vegas Murder Case

October 14, 2011

The Clark County D.A.'s office will pursue capital punishment for a nineteen year old who allegedly raped and murdered a fifteen year old over Labor Day weekend. The defendant reportedly confessed the crime to police. The defendant also faces charges for allegedly attacking another girl this past March.

Nevada murder law comprises the most serious crimes in the state. First degree murder is the deliberate killing of another or the killing of another while carrying out another felony such as burglary. Second degree murder is all other types of murder without malice aforethought, such as Russian Roulette.

The penalties for violating Nevada murder law may include the death penalty if the jury finds at least one aggravating factor (such as torture) and that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors (such as an abusive childhood). Other penalties include life in prison with or without the possibility of parole after 20 years. The laxest punishment is a fifty year prison sentence with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/district-attorney-to-seek-death-penalty-in-arbor-view-student-s-slaying-131824623.html

To learn more about Nevada murder law, watch our informational video:


Two People Convicted in Las Vegas Murder-Robbery Case

Last week a man and woman were found guilty for first degree murder, for violating Nevada robbery law, and for some other felonies in connection with a 2008 robbery plot that turned fatal. This week the jury is deciding whether to sentence the man to death. The woman may receive up to life in prison without parole.

Nevada robbery law makes it a crime to take personal property from another (or in their presence) by means of force or violence or fear of injury. The typical example is a thief pushing over a woman and snatching her purse. Typical defenses include no force or fear, mistaken identity, or lack of evidence.

Violating Nevada robbery law is a category B felony carrying two to fifteen years in prison. If a deadly weapon was used, the judge may enhance the sentence by up to twenty years as long as the enhancement is no larger than the original sentence. Double jeopardy prohibits someone from being convicted of both robbery and battery in the same case unless the battery and robbery were completely unrelated to each other.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-woman-found-guilty-in-robbery-plot-death-121421214.html

Elderly Man Accused of Murder in Las Vegas

This week Las Vegas police arrested an eighty-year old man for allegedly beating an elderly woman to death. He faces charges for violating Nevada murder law. In 2003 he pleaded guilty to burglary.

Nevada murder law divides murder into two degrees. First degree murder is premeditated killing or a killing done in the commission of another felony such as burglary. Second degree murder is killing done with extreme recklessness for human life, such as Russian Roulette.

Nevada murder law allows for capital punishment in first degree murder convictions. The maximum punishment for second degree murder is life in prison. People under eighteen at the time of the homicide or who are mentally retarded may not be sentenced to death.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/police-arrest-80-year-old-las-vegas-man-in-slaying-121533419.html

Las Vegas Teacher Arrested for Attempted Murder

Last week a middle school teacher was arrested for the Nevada crime of attempted murder and other charges for allegedly shooting at a TV crew parked in front of his home. He reportedly fired three shots but no one was injured. The show was for “Repo Games,” which plays on Spike TV.

The Nevada crime of attempted murder is the failed performance of an act which tends to kill a human being. In order to prove guilt the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to kill the would-be victim and took a direct step towards accomplishing the killing. An example would be hiring a hitman to kill someone or trying to knife someone in the throat who dodges the strike.

The Nevada crime of attempted murder is a category B felony in Las Vegas. The penalty includes 2 to 20 years in prison, which may be enhanced if a deadly weapon was used or if the would-be victim was age 60 or older. Common defenses to an attempted murder charge are self-defense and lack of intent to kill.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/schoolteacher-arrested-faces-several-charges-121017969.html

$1 Million Bail Set in Las Vegas Murder Case

November 22, 2010

Today a Las Vegas judge set a $1 million bail for a middle-aged man who's been arrested for the Nevada crime of murder. He's accused of strangling and beating his wife, a junior high school science teacher. He is currently incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center.

The Nevada crime of murder is divided into first degree and second degree. First degree murder comprises premeditated killings and homicides committed in perpetration of certain other crimes such as rape or kidnapping. Second degree murder includes killings that weren't premeditated but were the result of such reckless behavior that the person should have known that death might result (such as playing "Russian Roulette").

The Nevada crime of murder is prosecuted as a category A felony. Possible penalties for a first degree murder conviction include death, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, or 50 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Possible penalties for second degree murder include life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years, or 25 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

For more on this story go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/bail-set-at-1-million-for-man-accused-of-killing-his-wife-109909159.html

Man Pleads Guilty to Homicide in Las Vegas

April 20, 2010

A few weeks ago, a forty-six year old man appeared in Clark County District Judge Mosley’s court and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery with use of a deadly weapon for a 2004 shooting death incident. He reportedly agreed to the plea in order to avoid the death penalty. The D.A.s stipulated to an eighteen-to-forty-five year prison sentence in exchange for him pleading to breaking Nevada murder law, although Judge Mosley has final say.

In 2004, the defendant was allegedly dating the victim’s sister when he shot him in the back of the head and then stole his pickup truck. The victim’s body was later found near Laughlin by some off-roaders. He was reportedly in hiding for several months following the shooting, and he already had a long criminal history of drugs and abuse of alcohol.

Nevada murder law divides murder into first degree and second degree. First-degree murder includes premeditated killing and any homicide committed in perpetration of a felony, such as robbery, burglary and sexual abuse of a child. Other types of murder are considered second degree. The maximum penalty for violating first-degree Nevada murder law is death, while second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Read more about the story at http://www.lvrj.com/news/46-year-old-pleads-guilty-in-fatal-shooting-to-avoid-death-penalty-84682617.html

Henderson Man Charged with Murder in Child's Death

This week a twenty-four year old Henderson man was charged with murdering the sixteen-month-old baby of his girlfriend. Last Friday the baby was taken to a Henderson hospital with traumatic head injuries, which she died that day from. The mother had told police that the suspect was baby-sitting.

Nevada murder law defines first-degree murder as premeditated homicide or killing that happens during the perpetration of another felony. Second-degree murder is all other kinds of homicide. Nevada murder law allows the death penalty only for first-degree murder convictions.

Nevada murder law permits the death penalty if one or more aggravating circumstances outweigh any mitigating circumstances. (A typical example of a mitigating circumstance is a difficult childhood.) Alternative penalties for first-degree murder include life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole after twenty years, or else fifty years in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty years.

Read more about this story at http://www.lvrj.com/news/henderson-man-charged-with-murder-in-child-s-death-89933572.html.

New Trial Scheduled in Reno Hotel Stabbing Case

March 10, 2010

Last month, a fifty-four year old former chef got a new trial date after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the murder conviction in his first trial over faulty jury instructions. He’s accused of stabbing a man in 1993 in a Circus Circus – Reno hotel room they shared. The accused argued that Nevada self-defense law exonerates him.

The two men reportedly met while on a bus from San Francisco, where they shared cocaine. The fight reportedly started after the accused saw the other man in the room allegedly using his knives to make heroin. The victim was later found in the bathtub with 17 stab wounds.

Nevada self-defense law allows someone in immediate danger of being hurt by someone else to fight back. You’re also allowed to fight back if the aggressor is threatening your family or someone close to you. However, Nevada self-defense law requires that you use no more force than necessary to fend off the attack.

Read more about the story at http://www.rgj.com/article/20100219/NEWS01/2190399/1321/news

Suspected Murderer Arrested in Mesquite Will be Extradited

February 1, 2010

Fifty-seven year-old Steven Farrell, who was arrested in Mesquite on December ninth on suspicion of murdering his fiancée in Benton County, will be extradited back to Indiana. Farrell faces charges of shooting forty-year-old Christine Craig in front of her sixteen-year-old daughter on what was supposed to be their wedding day. Last week Craig appeared before Clark County District Judge Smith on an Indiana governor's warrant. As expected, the judge signed an order granting extradition.

People arrested in Mesquite usually have their initial court appearance in Mesquite Justice Court. However, those arrested within Mesquite's city limits will have their cases heard in Mesquite Municipal Court, which is in the same building. If the case is a felony, then it may be "bound over" to Clark County District Court in downtown, Las Vegas.

Mesquite Justice Court, which is located at 500 Hillside Drive, Mesquite NV 89027, hears criminal proceedings only every other Wednesday, and it does not handle traffic matters. The hours for Mesquite Justice Court are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and its phone number is (702) 346-5298. The court does not accept bail money, but you can pay bail at the Mesquite Jail, which shares the same address.

North Las Vegas Has First Homicide in 2010

January 27, 2010

North Las Vegas police are investigating its first homicide of 2010. Sixty-year-old Willie Henderson was recently discovered shot to death at his home. Neighbor Jamie Cole said, “I'm totally shocked. I'm totally shocked. He (was) a nice, older gentleman, blind, and I can't believe something like this has happened.”

North Las Vegas Police Officer Chrissie Coon said, “There's no reason for investigators to believe that this was just a random home invasion. It is believed that this victim was specifically targeted. When officers arrived, the male was actually already deceased and died from an apparent gunshot wound.” Anyone with any information regarding the case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

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Accused Killer Arrested in Mesquite Faces Extradition

January 25, 2010

Last month a murder suspect was arrested in Mesquite, Nevada. He had allegedly shot and killed his fiancée in Indiana on their would-be wedding day. The victim’s teenaged daughter witnessed the shooting.

The suspect fled to Nevada and remained at large until twelve days after the killing. The suspect’s extradition hearing is this week in Clark County District Court. The judge is expected to send him back to Indiana.

The Mesquite Jail is a very small detention center with only twenty beds. People arrested for misdemeanors in Mesquite will be booked at the Mesquite Jail. Otherwise, they may be transferred from the Mesquite Jail to the Clark County Detention Center.

Shooting in Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

January 5, 2010

Yesterday a man entered the Lloyd D. George U.S. District Courthouse, pulled a shotgun and killed a security officer and injured a deputy U.S. Marshal before being killed himself. It's not believed the shooting was related to organized terrorism, and reports indicate that there have been no threats leading up to this attack. The building was evacuated and remained closed for the remainder of the day.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who has an office in the courthouse, said, "The law enforcement personnel who protect the courthouse put their lives at risk every day to keep the people who are inside safe, and I greatly appreciate their service." U.S. Marshals Service Director John F. Clark released a statement as well: "I can receive no news more grim or sobering than word of a line-of-duty death or injury to our U.S. Marshals personnel. ... Rest assured, the brave and immediate actions of these two individuals saved lives by stopping the threat of a reckless and callous gunman who had no regard for who or how many victims were struck down by his senseless actions. They are heroes."

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Arrest Made in Las Vegas Drug-Related Murder Case

December 17, 2009

Last week twenty-six year old Rene Zambadajimenez was arrested for breaking Nevada murder law by shooting thirty-seven year old Ulises Mendez-Rodriguez near Route 157 and the 95. Reportedly, Zambadajimenez was driving with Mendez-Rodriguez before pulling over, at which point Zambadajimenez allegedly shot him five times with a 12-gauge shotgun. He then fled in the car, and Mendez-Rodriguez died shortly thereafter.

When police later executed a search warrant on Zambadajimenez’s apartment, they found the shotgun and some of Mendez-Rodriguez’s belongings. Zambadajimenez even reportedly admitted to the killing. Homicide Lt. Lew Roberts said the murder was drug related: “It was a fairly typical narcotic-related dope rip-off.”

Nevada murder law divides homicide into first and second degree. First degree murder involves cases where the perpetrator killed with malice aforethought or committed the killing while carrying out another felony. Second degree includes all other kinds of murder. Penalties for breaking Nevada murder law in the first degree include death, life in prison, or fifty years in prison, and the judge may also grant parole after twenty years.

Clark County DA Death Penalty Panel to Review Karaoke Killing Case

December 7, 2009

Last year, Xiao Ye Bai allegedly stabbed Wen Jun “James” Li in a karaoke bar on Jones Blvd. when he refused to pay Bai $10,000. A Chinese immigrant who may have gang ties in California, Bai is also charged with murder in San Gabriel, CA, where he allegedly killed a man and wounded another in a restaurant in 2008. This week, the death penalty committee of the Clark County District Attorney’s office is reviewing Bai’s case to determine whether Nevada will pursue capital punishment.

Nevada homicide law defines first-degree murder as premeditated killing or killing that occurs during the perpetration of a felony. Second-degree murder is all other kinds of murder (such as Russian roulette). Nevada homicide law permits the death penalty only for first-degree murder convictions.

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Nevada Man Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter Asks to Continue Driving

December 4, 2009

A man charged with four driving-related misdemeanors, including breaking Nevada vehicular manslaughter law, asked a judge last week to have his driving privileges restored. On July 15, the man was allegedly driving on a dirt road when he lost control of his Jeep Wrangler, causing it to overturn twice, and killing one of his passengers. Neither was wearing a seatbelt.

The driver also faces charges of driving without due care, driving left of center and failing to wear a seat belt. He tested negative for drugs, and his blood alcohol content was only .032, well below the legal limit. However, he has a past conviction of DUI as a minor, and he’s also been convicted of possession of drugs and stolen property. The DA is fighting the man’s request to have his driving privileges restored, and his next court hearing is set for later in December.

If a driver’s simple negligence causes a deadly traffic accident, he/she may be charged with breaking Nevada vehicular manslaughter law (NRS 484.3775), which is a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and/or maybe a $1,000 fine. However, the jail term and fine may be doubled if the driver was violating a speed limit at the time or was in a work zone. And, obviously, the defendant’s driving record will reflect having broken Nevada vehicular manslaughter law.

3 Suspects Arrested in Connection with Las Vegas Policeman Murder

November 25, 2009

Three suspects, ages seventeen to twenty, have been arrested for allegedly murdering Las Vegas police officer Trevor Nettleton last week. Authorities believe the incident was an attempted robbery but where the suspects came away with nothing.

The suspects will probably be charged with Nevada murder with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon (NRS 200.380). Police also suggest that the gang enhancement charge be added. They’re currently in custody at the North Las Vegas detention center.

NRS 200.380 defines robbery as the unlawful taking of personal property from someone else by means of force or fear of injury. NRS 200.380 is a category B felony, punishable by two to fifteen years imprisonment. For the deadly weapon enhancement, the judge can increase the sentence by up to twenty years as long as the added time does not exceed the underlying sentence.

Nevada Man Convicted of Killing Dad is Denied Pardon

November 19, 2009

Conan Pope, who killed his abusive dad when he was fifteen, appeared before the state Pardons Board in the hopes for a pardon that would allow him to join the military. Although he served six years for breaking Nevada voluntary manslaughter law, he hasn’t been able to get a decent job due to his criminal record. Although two Nevada Supreme Court justices took his side, the Board denied his request for a pardon.

Working against Pope’s favor are his past heroin abuse as well as the Board’s determination not to send a message that it’s okay for children to kill abusive parents. Deputy District Attorney Chris Owens said, "There are other youth out there with bad parents, but they don't shoot them.”

Nevada voluntary manslaughter law concerns homicides whereby the alleged killer was seriously and highly provoked to inflict injury (by being injured him/herself) or intended only to commit serious personal injury and not death. Nevada voluntary manslaughter law makes the crime a category B felony punishable by one to ten years in state prison and maybe a $10,000 fine.

Two Brothers Arrested for Murder in Las Vegas

November 18, 2009

Two brothers were arrested this week for breaking Nevada homicide law in connection with the killing of an elderly man, who was found dead on Saturday in his condo. Both face first-degree murder charges, and they’re being detained without bail.

Nevada homicide law distinguishes between first and second degree murder. First degree murder is homicide committed with malice aforethought or in the perpetration of a felony. Second degree murder is all other kinds of murder.

Nevada homicide law mandates either death, life imprisonment, life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 20 years, or 50 years imprisonment with the possibility for parole after 20 years. Second degree murder is punished by either life with the possibility of parole after 10 years, or 25 years imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years. The state cannot impose death unless at least one aggravating factor is found that is not outweighed by mitigating factors.

Hells Angels Raided in Las Vegas

November 13, 2009

On Wednesday, Las Vegas police raided six different locations as part of an investigation into last year’s alleged stabbing of two Mongol members by rival Hells Angels members. The search warrants are sealed, and no arrests were made. The Mongols and Hells Angels have a long history of violence, including a deadly gun-battle at the 2002 Laughlin River Run.

Police may eventually press charges for attempted murder in Nevada. First degree murder includes instances of premeditated killing and felony murder. Second degree murder includes all other kinds of homicide, including attempted murder in Nevada.

Attempted murder in Nevada may result in a sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10 years. An additional twenty years may be added if the victim was over age sixty, and another additional twenty years may be added if the alleged perpetrator used a deadly weapon.

Las Vegas Octogenarian Accused of Killing Wife

November 3, 2009

Eighty-six-year-old Joseph Woods has been charged with killing his wife, Kay Woods, as part of an apparent murder-suicide pact. After allegedly shooting her in the shoulder, he shot himself in the abdomen but did not die, and he’s currently in a nursing home receiving medical care.

Nevada murder law distinguishes between premeditated murder or felony murder (first degree) and other kinds of murder (second degree). Nevada murder law makes first degree murder a category A felony punishable by death, a life sentence, or a fifty-year sentence with the possibility of parole after twenty years. Second degree murder is also a category A felony, punishable by twenty-five years to life, with the possibility of parole after ten years.

Nevada murder law prohibits capital punishment unless the jury finds at least one aggravating factor that is not outweighed by mitigating factors. Examples of aggravating factors include if the suspect has committed murder or another violent felony in the past, if the suspect committed the murder in exchange for money, or if the victim was a police officer.