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Jurors convict man in murder case retrial

A man whose murder conviction was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2006 was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder during his retrial.

A Clark County jury convicted Erasmo Pena, 42, in the slaying of Marcos Valenzuela. Authorities said Pena killed Valenzuela after a fight broke out at a birthday party in 1991.

After the killing, Pena fled to El Salvador but was arrested when he returned to the United States in 2002.

Another jury convicted Pena of second-degree murder in 2004 and he was sentenced to spend 10 years to life in prison.

The Supreme Court overturned the conviction and granted Pena a new trial because of several instances of prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct.

Then-Chief Deputy District Attorney Ed Kane told the jury that Pena’s defense was a fairy tale and that finding him not guilty would be “silly.”

Kane currently works as a deputy public defender. His leaving the district attorney’s office had nothing to do with the Pena case, he said recently.

Pena is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8.


Medical examiner says athlete died of disease

A former major league baseball player whose body was pulled from a swimming pool in Bullhead City, Ariz., died of hypertensive cardiovascular disease, the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s office has concluded.

It also determined that cirrhosis of the liver due to chronic alcoholism was a significant factor in the Sept. 2 death of Todd Cruz, 52.

Bystanders pulled Cruz’ body from the bottom of the swimming pool at the Marble Canyon Manor apartments, where he lived.

Bullhead City Fire Department spokesman Larry Tunforss said advance life support efforts were initiated during transport but that Cruz was pronounced dead at Western Arizona Regional Medical Center.

Cruz was an infielder who broke into the big leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978.

He played for five other teams before his career ended in 1984, the year after his team, the Baltimore Orioles, won the World Series.


Woman convicted of threatening lawyers

A 53-year-old Las Vegas woman is scheduled to be sentenced in February after a jury convicted her of threatening to kill two federal labor relations board attorneys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Lori Irish was convicted late Thursday on charges that include threats against a federal employee, threats made in interstate commerce and witness tampering.

A sentencing hearing for Irish is scheduled for Feb. 20.

The targets of her threats were attorneys with the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency charged with administering laws that govern relations between unions and employers in the private sector, according to the federal government.

The board contacted Irish after employees of her company, Advanced Architectural Metals Inc., filed complaints that Irish failed to bargain with the union even though she was required to do so under their collective bargaining agreement.

Employees said Irish threatened to fire them if they communicated with the union.

Irish also made several phone calls to a labor board attorney, threatening to kill him, prosecutors said.

She told another employee that she would fire him and kill him if he did not lie during his testimony during a relations board proceeding, they said.

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Drag show at Nellis AFB canceled, reports say

The drag show, scheduled for the start of Pride Month, was canceled after top military officials learned about it, according to news report