Death sentence meted in Sparks teen’s slaying

RENO — After apologizing to the family of his victim, a 30-year-old man was sentenced to death Friday night for the 2006 rape and killing of a Sparks teenager.

The same Washoe County District Court jury that convicted Tamir Hamilton of first-degree murder last week deliberated about six hours before reaching the decision on his sentence.

The victim, 16-year-old Holly Quick, was found dead in her bed by her mother after being raped and stabbed, authorities said.

Quick’s mother, Patricia Doss, and sister, Jhana Williams, cried with their arms wrapped around each other after the verdict was read, while the victim’s father, Tom Quick, closed his eyes as tears rolled down his cheeks.

In a joint statement, the family praised the jury, prosecutor Luke Prengaman, police and the community.

“We would like to express our profound relief at the closing of this chapter of this tragedy,” the family said. “The matter of justice has been settled.”

The jury found that the prosecution had proved all four aggravating circumstances to support a death sentence and said no mitigating factors outweighed them.

Richard Davies, one of Hamilton’s lawyers, said the defense was disappointed.

“But we respect their decision,” Davies told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Hamilton is scheduled to return to court May 9 to be formally sentenced for the rape of Quick. His death sentence for her murder will automatically be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Defense lawyers argued that Hamilton, who was a friend of Quick’s older sister, suffered from severe mental illness. Prosecutors disputed the claim.

Hamilton was sentenced last year to life in prison for a separate sexual assault and beating of a 20-year-old University of Nevada, Reno student two weeks before Quick was killed.

Before the verdict was read on Friday, Hamilton apologized to Quick’s family, saying he wished he could “turn back the hands of time.”

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