Three enter plea agreements in slaying of Nevada's chief insurance examiner

CARSON CITY — Three of four defendants charged with killing Nevada’s chief insurance examiner have entered plea agreements with prosecutors.

In return for a chance of lighter sentences, Makyla Blackmore, 20, Anthony Elliott, 20, and Michael Evans, 23, agreed to testify against Raul Garcia, 22, if he goes to trial.

All four defendants were originally charged with open murder in the April slaying of 62-year-old William McCune in his Carson City apartment. They were arrested after McCune’s body was found in the Carson River wrapped in a blanket and duct tape April 6.

Prosecutors could have sought the death penalty if the four went to trial — a factor in the decision by the three to enter pleas, the Nevada Appeal reported.

Elliott agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder during the commission of a robbery. While he could get life in prison without parole, the deal gives him a chance of parole after 20 years.

Evans agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder, which carries a potential sentence of life in prison with parole possible after 10 years.

Blackmore, who told detectives the men beat McCune and robbed him while she waited outside in the vehicle, agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The robbery count carries up to 15 years in prison, while the conspiracy count carries a maximum of six years.

The final sentences are up to the judge, despite the plea bargains.

A court hearing for Garcia was scheduled Thursday, but it was continued. His lawyer sought more time to review discovery evidence with his client before deciding to go to trial or accept a plea bargain.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong has said a possible motive in the slaying was theft driven by illegal drug use.

McCune’s body was found days after co-workers at the state insurance office reported him missing, and police found a bloody crime scene at his apartment.

The suspects used various objects to beat McCune and tied him up with duct tape when he struggled, according to court documents.

After dumping his body, the suspects tried to use McCune’s checks and credit cards to get money and make purchases, detectives said. On April 6, three suspects were arrested in Las Vegas and Evans was arrested in Carson City.

McCune was head of the insurance division’s corporate and financial affairs section in charge of making sure companies have sufficient money in reserves to cover claims and obligations.