The official courtroom video of Kirstin Blaise Lobato’s evidentiary hearing in Las Vegas from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, 2017 is available on Justice Denied’s website.
Click here to go to the webpage with links to the video for each day. Video is available for each complete day, and for each time during that day courtroom proceedings started or stopped being recorded on the record (E.g., beginning of day, lunch break, change of witnesses, etc.)
Kirstin 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.*
In October 2009 her direct appeal was denied.
She filed a habeas corpus petition in May 2010 that raised 79 separate claims for a new trial, including claims her trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance of counsel.
Ms. Lobato appealed Judge Valorie Vega’s denial of her petition in 2011.
The evidentiary hearing was ordered by the Nevada Supreme Court in December 2016. It was to 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 p.m. on July 8 — a time when it is known she was not in Las Vegas.
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.
During the hearing Ms. Lobato presented the testimony of five witnesses:
* Three forensic entomologists testified that in their expert opinion Bailey died after sunset at 8:01 p.m. on July 8 because he had no fly eggs in his orifices or open wounds that would have been present if he had died during daylight.
* One forensic pathologist testified that in his expert opinion Bailey died about 8 p.m. — plus or minus two hours — based on his body’s rigor mortis.
* Her lead trial lawyer testified Bailey’s time of death was a key issue in her case, that he knew about forensic entomology at the time of her trial but it didn’t occur to him to consult with an entomologist to determine Bailey’s TOD, and that the failure to do so wasn’t a strategic decision.
To rebut the testimony by the entomologists and pathologist that Bailey died on the evening of July 8, the State (which was represented by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office) presented the testimony of one forensic pathologist and one forensic entomologist.
Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley said at the conclusion of the hearing on Oct. 13 that she would issue her written ruling within 30 days. As of December 4, 2017 her ruling has not been issued.
If Judge Miley grants Ms. Lobato’s petition she will order a new trial, and set bail for her release.
The following are links to a report for each day of the evidentiary hearing:
A summary of the evidentiary hearing was published in the Las Vegas Tribune’s Oct. 18, 2017 issue: “Kirstin Lobato’s Habeas Hearing Concludes — Judge Miley To Rule By Mid-November.”
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.
* 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.