Nevada Supreme Court oral arguments: May 6

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Sims (Stanley) v. State,
Docket No. 52640
Churchill
County High School - 9:45 a.m. - Justices Cherry, Saitta and Gibbons

Washoe County auto broker Stanley Sims is appealing his conviction for failing to pay several Arizona automobile dealerships for the cars they delivered to his customers. A grand jury indicted Sims on five counts of embezzlement. Sims filed a petition for habeas corpus, made several motions to dismiss the indictment, and sought to have the prosecutor disqualified, all of which were denied by the district court. Specifically, Sims sought to have the case dismissed on the basis that the prosecutor committed misconduct when he destroyed the grand jury record by retaining the exhibits, documents, and packets relied on by the grand jury; and ignored his obligation to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury.  Sims made several pre-trial motions, attempting to dismiss the charge for inadequate notice, and urged the district court to determine essential jury instructions, all of which the district court denied.  However, the district court granted the State's request to amend the grand jury's indictment--striking factual language of Sims as a bailee, and the requirement of the intent to defraud. Sims entered a conditional guilty plea, and was sentenced to probation with the requirement that he pay restitution.  Sims retained his right to appeal and this appeal followed. ISSUES: Did the district court err by refusing to dismiss Sims' indictment due to prosecutorial misconduct? Does the alleged lack of a complete record prevent the prosecutor from justifying the indictment? Does the alleged lack of a complete record violate Sims' Sixth Amendment rights and undermine the grand jury's legal basis for the indictment? Did the district court err by refusing to disqualify the prosecutor?  Did the district court err in denying Sims' motion to dismiss for insufficient evidence?  Did the district court err by amending the indictment? Did the district court err by denying Sims' motion to determine essential jury instructions? Does cumulative error require reversal?

 Alford (Brian) v. State,
Docket No. 53415
Churchill
County High School - 11:00 a.m. - Justice Michael Cherry

Brian Lamont Alford is appealing his conviction for first-degree murder with the use of a firearm in the death of Jerome Castro.  In the incident, Castro and Alford fought in Castro's Reno home and Alford used the butt of the gun he carried to beat Castro.  A single shot was fired that went through Castro's arm and struck him in the forehead, but did not penetrate or fracture his skull.  Castro later died from his injuries.  ISSUES:  Is the evidence sufficient to support Alford's conviction?  Did the district court abuse its discretion by giving certain jury instructions and admitting certain evidence?  Did the district court err in curtailing the cross-examination of key witnesses? Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying Alford's pretrial writ of habeas corpus?  Did the district court err in granting the State's motion to amend? Did the district court err in denying Alford's motion for a new trial?  Should Alford's conviction be reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct or under the doctrine of cumulative error? (Disclaimer:  This synopsis is intended to provide only general information about this case before the Nevada Supreme Court.  It is not intended to be all inclusive or reflect all positions of the parties.)

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on May 3, 2010 9:15 AM.

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