Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada

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Nev. Rev. Stat. 200.450 - which provides that if any person, “upon previous concert and agreement,” fights with any and person and one person dies in the fight, the surviving fighter is guilty of first-degree murder - is not vague or overbroad. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 200.450 is neither vague nor overbroad; (2) the district court properly instructed the jury regarding self-defense and its inapplicability to challenge-to-fight murder theory; (3) Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claim that the presence in the courtroom of the State’s expert witness violated the exclusionary rule; and (4) the State’s expert witness impermissibly exceeded her scope as an expert witness, but the error was harmless. View "Pimentel v. State" on Justia Law

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When a minor is arrested solely for solicitation or prostitution but is charged in juvenile court with offenses other than prostitution or solicitation, Nev. Rev. Stat. 62C.240 applies, precluding formal adjudication of delinquency and ensuring counseling and medical treatment services as part of a consent decree. Petitioner, a juvenile, was arrested for soliciting prostitution and loitering for the purpose of prostitution and was charged with obstructing an officer. Petitioner was adjudicated as a delinquent. The State subsequently filed several petitions alleging violations of Petitioner’s probation. The juvenile court committed Petitioner to placement at the Claliente Youth Center. Petitioner petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus or prohibition directing the juvenile court to vacate its orders adjudicating her as a delinquent and apply the provisions of section 62C.240. The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition, holding that A.J. was entitled to protections afforded under 62C.240 and that the juvenile court arbitrarily and capriciously abused its discretion by adjudicating her as a delinquent. View "A.J. v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary, robbery, and first-degree kidnapping, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction of both robbery and kidnapping and that the Miranda warning given by the police prior to questioning was legally insufficient. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s convictions for kidnapping and robbery; and (2) Defendant received an adequate Miranda warning prior to making statements to police and thus did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress those statements. View "Stewart v. State" on Justia Law

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My Entertainment TV (MET) filmed Michael Solid’s first-degree murder trial for use in a television “docudrama.” Solid filed this writ petition seeking interpretation of the Supreme Court Rules involving media in the courtroom. The Supreme Court denied Solid’s writ petition, holding (1) MET is a “news reporter” under these rules; (2) MET is using the footage for educational or informational purposes, as opposed to unrelated advertising; (3) the district court did not err in allowing MET to film the trial because Solid did not overcome the presumption in favor of electronic coverage; and (4) the terms of MET’s television series agreement with the Clark County District Attorney did not require the consent of Solid’s trial counsel. View "Solid v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of thirty-six felony offenses and sentenced to a total term of life with the possibility of parole after eighty-five years. The conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. Thereafter, Appellant filed a pro se postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus and moved for appointment of counsel. The district court denied the petition following a hearing at which Appellant was not present. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in declining to appoint postconviction counsel to represent Appellant in light of the severity of the consequences that Appellant faces, the potential need for discovery, and Appellant’s questionable proficiency with the English language. Remanded. View "Renteria-Novoa v. State" on Justia Law

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An amended criminal complaint was filed charging Maria Escalante and Ramiro Funez (collectively, Escalante) each with one count of trespass in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 207.200(1)(a). Escalante moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that section 207.200(1)(a) is unconstitutionally vague. The Nevada Office of the Attorney General (AG) was not notified of the constitutional challenge to the statute. The justice court granted the motion to dismiss in part, determining that the “vex or annoy” intent requirement in the statute was void for vagueness. When it received notification of the justice court’s order, the AG filed a “motion to place on calendar,” arguing that the AG was entitled to notice of the constitutional challenge under Nev. Rev. Stat. 30.130. The justice court denied the AG’s motion, concluding that section 30.130 applies only to declaratory relief actions and has no applicability to criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 30.130 does not entitle the AG to notice and opportunity to be heard in criminal cases; and (2) Escalante was not required to notify the AG of their constitutional challenge to section 207.200(1)(a). View "Office of the Attorney General v. Justice Court" on Justia Law

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Petitioner was charged with murder under three theories. Petitioner pleaded guilty to murder but only to two of the three theories alleged. After the district court accepted the plea, problems arose because the State was not informed and did not understand that Petitioner was not pleading guilty to premeditated murder. The district court subsequently revoked its acceptance of the guilty plea and set the murder count for trial, concluding that it lacked authority to accept the guilty plea because it did not conform to the indictment, and the State had not consented to amending it. Petitioner sought a writ of prohibition or mandamus directing the district court to enforce his plea. The Supreme Court denied writ relief, holding that the guilty plea was defective, and therefore the district court appropriately set it aside. View "Righetti v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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In 2015, more than twenty-five years after remittitur issued from Appellant’s direct appeal in 1989, Appellant filed a petition for postconviction relief. The petition was both successive and untimely filed. The district court denied the petition, concluding that the petition was procedurally barred and that Appellant failed to demonstrate the good cause and prejudice required for consideration of the petition. Appellant appealed, arguing that the district court erred in failing to consider his good cause argument regarding Riley v. McDaniel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, even assuming that Riley would provide good cause, Appellant did not establish prejudice because he did not demonstrate that the result of trial would have been different had a different instruction been given. View "Leavitt v. State" on Justia Law

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The Clark County grand jury indicted Defendant for the murder of his wife. Prior to trial, Defendant sought to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the district attorney violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 172.145(2) by failing to submit exculpatory evidence in the State’s file to the grand jury. Specifically, Defendant asserted that the district attorney improperly failed to present to the grand jury two notes from his deceased wife’s hospital chart. The district court denied relief, concluding that no violation of section 172.145(2) occurred because the district attorney was not aware of the notes and their potential exculpatory value when he presented the case to the grand jury. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district attorney did not violate section 172.145(2). View "Mayo v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of one count of trafficking in a controlled substance. During a break in deliberations, two jurors individually conducted experiments testing the parties’ theories of the case. The next morning, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict. Defendant filed a motion to declare a mistrial and order a new trial due to juror misconduct. The district court denied the motion, concluding that there was no reasonable probability that the verdict was affected by the two jurors’ independent experiments. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in denying Appellant’s motion for a new trial because (1) the juror misconduct in this case was prejudicial, and (2) the trial court’s failure to give a jury instruction prohibiting jurors from conducting independent investigations or experiments constituted a reversible error. Remanded. View "Bowman v. State" on Justia Law