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Death Sentence Appeal Denied In Vegas Murder

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A divided Nevada Supreme Court won’t rehear a death-row inmate’s challenge of his capital sentence, although one justice said he’d grant the man a new penalty hearing in front of a jury.

An order dated Friday rejected William Castillo’s bid to reconsider his death sentence for the murder of 86-year-old Isabelle Berndt in Las Vegas in 1995.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Castillo challenged two of four aggravating factors found by his death sentence jury as invalid.

Justice Michael Cherry dissented from five colleagues who say the jury would have concluded that mitigating circumstances didn’t outweigh valid aggravating factors.

Castillo was convicted of hitting Berndt with a tire iron, smothering her with a pillow while she was asleep and returning later to set Berndt’s house afire.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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