LAS VEGAS (AP) — A woman who says she was wrongly convicted in the 2001 killing and sexual mutilation of a homeless man in Las Vegas will get a new evidence hearing, the Nevada Supreme Court has decided.
The ruling was handed down Wednesday in the case of Kirstin Lobato, who says there’s new evidence that would bolster her alibi and show someone else could have killed 44-year-old Duran Bailey.
The high court decided the hearing was necessary to hear more on those claims, as well as a decision by a previous lawyer for Lobato not to hire an expert witness to determine the victim’s time of death.
It’s a key point in the case because Lobato maintained at trial she was 165 miles away, in her hometown of Panaca, when Bailey was killed. There is evidence that Lobato was there for parts of the day on which Bailey was found dead, the high court wrote.
Lobato is serving 13 to 35 years in prison after being convicted of killing Bailey, cutting his genitals with a pocket knife and leaving his body in a trash bin in Las Vegas. Lobato could be eligible for parole in August 2018.
Police and prosecutors said Lobato confessed to killing Bailey when he tried to rape her after she refused his attempts to trade sex for drugs.
The Nevada Supreme Court threw out Lobato’s 2002 conviction on murder and penetration of a dead body charges. She was tried again in 2006 and convicted of manslaughter and penetration of a dead body.
Supporters have petitioned the courts to reconsider her case.