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Judge sentences pair to life in prison for 2008 robbery plot that ended in death

A man and woman convicted of first-degree murder for a 2008 drug-related robbery plot that ended with the death of a 42-year-old Las Vegas man will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

A Clark County jury in May convicted Charles Nelson, 30, and Lashana Hayward, 36, in the robbery and slaying of Eddie Heckard after a three-week trial. The same jury also decided to sentence both to the life prison terms. Nelson was facing a possible death sentence.

Both Hayward and Nelson were convicted of multiple felonies, including first-degree murder. District Judge Douglas Herndon on Thursday formally sentenced both defendants to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder.

Nelson, who had a dozen prior felony convictions, maintained Thursday that he was innocent before Herndon sentenced him to four consecutive life prison terms because he is a habitual offender.

Nelson and John Scott robbed Heckard in September 2008 at his home in the 1400 block of J Street, authorities said.

After beating him to death, the robbers set the house on fire. But the robbery was interrupted by a friend of Heckard’s who knocked on the door. The robbers attacked and beat the visitor, who escaped and ran to nearby police as the house burned.

Hayward, the getaway driver in the plot, sold drugs that were supplied to her by Heckard, Las Vegas police said.

A May 2012 trial date was set for Scott, 44, whose case was separated from the other two defendants.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Scott.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.

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