RENO, Nev. (AP) — A judge in Reno has refused to grant a new trial for a man sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old college student nearly eight years ago.
Washoe District Judge Scott Freeman said Thursday that James Biela’s lawyers failed to prove he was denied a fair trial when he was convicted of killing Brianna Denison and sexually assaulting two other women near the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
Among other things, Biela’s lawyers argued the case should have been moved out of Reno because of unprecedented pre-trial publicity.
Judge Freeman says there’s no evidence Biela failed to receive effective representation during trial or subsequent appeal.
He says there was overwhelming evidence for the jury to find Biela guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.