Kirstin Lobato’s evidentiary hearing for two ineffective assistance of counsel claims in her habeas corpus petition begins on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 in the Clark County Courthouse in Las Vegas.
Ms. Lobato was convicted in 2006 of voluntary manslaughter and other charges related to Duran Bailey’s homicide in Las Vegas on July 8, 2001. She is incarcerated serving her sentence of 13 to 35 years in prison.*
More than seven years ago she filed her habeas petition in May 2010, in the Clark County District Court. Her petition asserts a number of claims that rely on new evidence.
The hearing is determine if Ms. Lobato’s trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to investigate and present forensic entomology and forensic pathology evidence discovered after her trial that establishes Bailey died after 8 pm on July 8. During her trial the prosecution conceded that credible alibi witnesses establish she was at her home in Panaca — 165 miles north of Las Vegas — the entire afternoon and evening of July 8. Her petition asserts the jury would not have found her guilty if it had known the evidence Mr. Bailey died at a time the State has acknowledged she was 165 miles from Las Vegas.
If Judge Stefany Miley determines Ms. Lobato’s trial lawyers were ineffective, she will be granted a new trial. She would also undoubtedly be granted release on bail.
This is a very personal hearing for a number of current and former employees in both the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Justice Denied reported more than 13 years ago in its first article about Ms. Lobato’s case, that not only is Ms. Lobato innocent, but her innocence is known by the DA’s Office and Metro PD. That article published in the fall of 2004 was titled: Las Vegas Police and Prosecutors Frame Woman 170 Miles From Murder Scene — Kirstin Lobato’s “Very Peculiar Story”. It is available online at, www.tinyurl.com/y72c526d.
The issue she was prosecuted when the prosecutors and police know she is innocent underlies her habeas Ground 22. The summary for Ground 22 states it concerns, “New evidence of police and prosecutor misconduct in maliciously and negligently prosecuting the Petitioner when they had evidence the Petitioner did not murder Duran Bailey or cut his rectum after death.” [Lobato Habeas, p. 16]
Consequently, it is in the personal self-interest of everyone in the DA’s Office and Metro who has been involved in her case for her petition to be denied.
The prosecution’s fervor resulted in one of her trial prosecutors — William Kephart — going so far as to interfere in her case by publicly advocating for her guilt after he had been elected a district court judge in 2014. On August 31, 2017 the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded Judge Kephart for his public comments. He admitted to all the misconduct charges filed against related to his comments during his on-camera interview broadcast in February 2016 by KSNV News 3 in Las Vegas. Justice Denied’s article about the NCJD’s action is at, www.tinyurl.com/ybark9dl.
The prosecution’s fervor also resulted in the DA’s Conviction Review Unit’s summary rejection in March 2017 of Ms. Lobato’s application for review of her new evidence she asserts proves her actual innocence. To reject her application the CRU resorted to disregarding nationally recognized standards for review of a case. Justice Denied’s article about the CRU’s action is at, www.tinyurl.com/y8prfdqt.
The hearing that begins on October 9 will determine if Judge Miley has the integrity to rule in Ms. Lobato’s favor, and rip the veneer of legitimacy from the 16 year effort by Clark County law enforcement officials to frame her for a crime committed in Las Vegas when she was 165 miles away at her home in Panaca.
Click here to read or download at no charge the PDF book “Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s Unreasonable Conviction: Possibility Of Guilt Replaces Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt – Third Edition.” The book about Ms. Lobato’s case was written by Justice Denied’s editor and publisher Hans Sherrer.
Hans Sherrer is attending the hearing in Las Vegas.
* Ms. Lobato was convicted in 2006 after a retrial. Her conviction in May 2002 of first-degree murder and other charges, and her sentence of 45 years to life in prison, was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2004.