The Las Vegas Tribune published on the front page of its March 22, 2017 issue, “Federal Judge Gloria Navarro has declared Kirstin Lobato is innocent.” The article was written by Hans Sherrer, Justice Denied’s editor and publisher. The article can be read on the LV Tribune’s website at, LasVegasTribune.net.
The article explains that U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro publicly stated in 2002 that Kirstin Lobato is innocent of Duran Bailey’s homicide in Las Vegas on July 8, 2001. At the time Navarro was Lobato’s lawyer, and her comments were published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on May 29, 2002.
Navarro declared to the Review-Journal: “She placed her belief in the justice system, and she ended up being convicted of a crime that she did not commit.” She also said that because Ms. Lobato is innocent she turned down a plea deal for three years in prison. Lobato was subsequently sentenced by District Court Judge Valorie Vega to a minimum of 40 years in prison.
Navarro has never recanted her public statements declaring Lobato is innocent. In fact, she specifically referenced the May 2002 Review-Journal article in her ‘judiciary questionnaire’ that the United States Senate relied on in unanimously confirming her by a 98-0 vote in May 2010 for a federal judgeship.
In 2010 Lobato filed a state habeas corpus petition that seeks to overturn her convictions. A defense by the State to Lobato’s petition is “there is no reasonable question of Defendant’s guilt.” Lobato’s response filed in the Clark County District Court was the State’s defense “has made Judge Navarro a material witness in the Petitioner’s writ of habeas corpus case, and she will be subpoenaed as a witness during the Petitioner’s evidentiary hearing.” Navarro declaration of Lobato’s innocence exposes the State’s defense is false.
In November 2016 the Nevada Supreme Court remanded Lobato’s habeas case back to the District Court to resolve two issues: ineffective assistance by her trial lawyers and new evidence she is actually innocent. The Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing that was denied by the District Court.
Consequently, if an evidentiary hearing is held the State could be faced with needing to denigrate the testimony of federal Judge Navarro that Ms. Lobato is innocent, and she has known it for 15 years ago.
Information about Ms. Lobato’s case and the new evidence of her actual innocence detailed in her habeas corpus petition is on Justice Denied’s Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s case webpage.