Death penalty upheld in 1979 slaying

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court for the third time has upheld the death penalty against Edward Thomas Wilson, convicted in the 1979 killing of an undercover Reno police officer for whom a memorial to fallen officers is named.

In a 6-0 ruling Thursday, justices also clarified a previous ruling involving “aggravating circumstances” used in assessing the justification of death sentences.

Wilson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the killing of James D. Hoff during an undercover drug sting in June 1979.

In his latest appeal, he argued other felonies committed during the crime couldn’t be used as aggravators to justify the death sentence.

The high court, however, rejected that argument because he pleaded guilty.

The James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial is in Reno’s Idlewild Park.

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