New trial granted for woman convicted of killing man, cutting off penis

A Las Vegas woman convicted in 2006 of killing a homeless man and cutting off his penis will have her case tried anew, according to a court order issued Wednesday.

District Judge Stefany Miley granted Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s request for a new trial after finding that ineffective assistance of counsel may have played a role in her conviction in Duran Bailey’s 2001 death.

The 34-year-old woman, incarcerated at Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center since early 2007, filed a petition in May 2010 to challenge the legality of her detention, alleging 79 grounds for relief. The Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing late last year on 25 of the claims.

The order called for a hearing on her counsel’s decision not to hire an expert witness to pinpoint the time of death. Time of death is important because there is uncontested evidence that Lobato was in Panaca at midday and early evening on July 8, 2001.

If true, Lobato’s allegations suggest a reasonable probability that had counsel presented expert evidence narrowing the time of death, the jury would have had a reasonable doubt about her guilt, the Supreme Court order said.

Bailey’s body was discovered about 10 p.m. July 8, but the only evidence regarding time of death came from the medical examiner who said death could have occurred as early as 10 p.m. July 7.

Miley held an evidentiary hearing over several days in October to address Lobato’s claims of deficient representation.

Attorney David Schieck, who was working as a public defender in Clark County during Lobato’s trial and took over the case from an experienced criminal defense attorney, testified that he should have more closely supervised two less-experienced attorneys who worked on the case.

Schieck said the attorneys obtained an estimate of Bailey’s time of death from a forensic pathologist, but did not call the expert as a witness at trial.

Miley noted in her decision that, contrary to the usual practice of giving experts all relevant information, Lobato’s less-experienced attorneys also provided their forensic pathologist with only five of about 300 photos of the Las Vegas crime scene and autopsy.

“Mr. Schieck also made clear that any evidence that could have narrowed Bailey’s time of death to the late morning, afternoon or evening of July 8, 2001 would have been critical to Defendant’s alibi defense,” her order read.

Four forensic experts for the defense, including a former Clark County medical examiner and a university professor of forensic pathology, testified that based on photos and reports indicating lack of blowfly egg colonization on Bailey’s body, the 44-year-old Las Vegas homeless man likely died about 9 p.m. on July 8, 2001.

The state called two expert witnesses, one of whom determined that Bailey’s body temperature and rigor mortis indicated he died in early to mid-morning on July 8, 2001. The second expert, relying on insect analysis, said he could not rule out the possibility that Bailey’s body was present on the scene during daylight hours.

Miley also considered testimony from 10 “reliable, consistent” alibi witnesses — including Lobato’s neighbor, father, and an unrelated Panaca resident — that put Lobato in Panaca from as late as 11:30 a.m. until she returned to Las Vegas later that night.

This testimony, paired with testimony from the “highly educated, experienced, and credible expert opinions” in the October hearing, created strong alibi evidence placing Lobato in Panaca at the time Bailey was killed, Miley wrote in the order.

Without physical evidence linking her to Bailey’s death, the jury likely relied heavily on statements made to detectives, which prejudiced the woman’s case, Miley wrote.

“Considering the totality of the evidence, had [Lobato’s] counsel provided evidence that narrowed [Bailey’s] time of death, it would have, within a reasonable probability, made a difference in the outcome of the trial,” Miley wrote in the order.

Miley set a status check for Jan. 24 to schedule Lobato’s new trial.

Contact Kimber Laux at Follow @lauxkimber on Twitter.

Las Vegas judge’s ruling will halt tonight’s execution
On Wednesday Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling that will halt the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. Alvogen Inc., which makes the sedative midazolam, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in an execution.
3 people shot in southeast Las Vegas
Three men were shot Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas, and two of them have life threatening injuries. Las Vegas police responded to the incident just after 10 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mountain Vista Street. The investigation is in its early stages and police were unable to describe the suspect or say how man people they think were involved. Police encourage anyone with information regarding this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or 3-1-1
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Two robbers who recently targeted three Las Vegas businesses remained at large Tuesday and police are asking the public to help identify them. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
LVMPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The LVMPD Commercial Robbery Section is attempting to identify the pictured suspect who is responsible for committing robberies to businesses in the southern part of the Las Vegas Valley during the month of May 2018. The suspect enters the business, threatens the employee with a firearm and demands money from the register. The employee complies and the suspect flees the business.
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead at 2500 block of Ellis St., on Friday, June 8, 2018. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
1 dead in shooting at southwest Las Vegas home
A dispute between roommates led to the fatal shooting of one man in the backyard of their southwest Las Vegas Valley home on Monday, April 23, 2018. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like