Vegas man gets life in prison for 2014 home-invasion murder

Virgil Woods, a Las Vegas man convicted in August of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

A Clark County grand jury had indicted Woods, 46, of murder, assault, burglary while possessing a firearm and home invasion in November 2014. A jury found him guilty of those crimes on Aug. 21.

Authorities say that on Nov. 9, 2014, Woods kicked in the door of an apartment in the 4600 block of Amerleigh Lane, near Las Vegas Valley Drive, looking for Joshua Rudy Oglesby. Two women and three children, ages 1, 5 and 11, were in the apartment.

During a Dec. 10, 2014, indictment hearing, prosecutor Nick Portz said Woods walked “systematically” from room to room, pointing the gun at several people, including the 11-year-old. When he found Oglesby, Woods shot him 10 times, including twice in the face. Woods fled but was arrested less than two weeks later.

On Tuesday at the Regional Justice Center, Terrence Jackson, Woods’ attorney, and Woods himself disputed the pre-sentencing report’s offense synopsis. The issue raised, District Judge Eric Johnson said, was an earlier incident in which Oglesby and the handgun-wielding Woods wrestled, and Woods was struck in the head. Woods argued he’d been shot and claimed self-defense.

“The transcript will reflect the evidence that came out for both sides; whether the jury believed one side or the other is, of course, the jury’s decision,” Jackson said. “I wanted to present the facts as I saw them that might indicate at least some what might be considered imperfect self-defense, that the defendant was involved in, that he was hit over the head and whether that was justified or not that that goes toward mitigation.”

Prosecutor Michelle Fleck said Woods’ story changed. She said Woods told the woman he was staying with that he was struck in the head with a glass bowl, which caused a laceration. But when testifying in court, she said, Woods changed his story to say he was shot. She noted that the jury didn’t believe Woods’ account.

Woods interrupted to say witnesses and the grand jury indictment said he’d been shot. Fleck said that version of events came from Woods’ testimony and the jury had rejected it. Johnson acknowledged the defendant testified during trial that he was shot, but his testimony was inconsistent with the underlying facts.

The prosecution had argued for a sentence of 36 years to life for Woods. Fleck argued such a sentence fit the severity of the first-degree murder charge, and the danger and fear he created in putting the women and children in the house at risk.

She also noted that Woods has a long history of violent incidents, and in 1989 was involved in a robbery with a firearm that produced four felony counts, including assault with a deadly weapon. Although he was paroled from that case, Fleck added, Woods violated the parole and was returned to prison. While in prison, Woods was arrested for drug possession, she said, and was convicted of two more felonies.

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