District attorney considering death penalty in slaying of Nevada official in Carson City
April 11, 2013
The district attorney's office is considering whether four young suspects in the April 2 slaying of a Carson City man should face the death penalty if they're convicted of murder.
Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo said his office is still weighing the evidence and reports in the death of William McCune, Nevada's chief insurance examiner.
"It's on the table," he said of the death penalty.
Three of the suspects, Makyla Blackmore and Anthony Elliot, 20, and Raul Garcia, 22, were transported from Las Vegas on Tuesday night and arrived in Carson City shortly before 8 p.m. All were arrested Saturday. Michael Evans, 23, was arrested in Carson City. All four have been charged with open murder against a person 60 or older and burglary.
The district attorney's office is looking into how it will assemble its prosecution team and will at least include the district attorney, Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger and a deputy district attorney.
At least two capital murder cases were tried in the 1980s, but they were cases involving prisoners who had killed other prisoners at the Nevada State Prison, retired District Court Judge Michael Fondi said.
The four defendants appeared in justice court Wednesday. Justice of the Peace John Tatro ordered all of them held without bail.
McCune was reported missing April 4 after he failed to board a plane for a work trip. His body was recovered Saturday in the Carson River.
The office will list all mitigating factors in Nevada law, as well as aggravating factors. Mitigating factors include the suspect or suspects' role in a murder, whether a suspect acted under domination of another person, the age of the suspect, whether the victim participated in the criminal actions, the lack of a significant criminal history and whether the suspect was an accomplice in a murder committed by another person.
Aggravating factors can include whether the killing was committed during another felony, was done for money, involved torture, was done at random, was done to a child or was done because of a person's protected class, such as sexual orientation, race, creed and nationality.
"It's not about our personal opinion," Rombardo said. "It's about what the law supports."
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office found McCune's missing pickup, a maroon 2000 Dodge Dakota, Monday afternoon. The truck was found near Holbrook Junction, and its license plates were found in a Carson City residence.
According to an arrest report:
Evans told detectives he knocked on McCune's door April 2 and asked to use the bathroom. McCune offered Evans a drink, and the two were drinking when two other suspects came and the three beat McCune with various items and tied him up with duct tape.
The assailants hauled a truckload of McCune's property with his pickup and attempted to use his debit cards and write false checks.
The three then returned, attempted to clean up the apartment and dumped McCune's body in the Carson River.
At least one of the four suspects knew McCune, Sheriff Ken Furlong said.
It could take several weeks for blood test results to help determine McCune's cause of death, Carson City Coroner Ruth Rhines said Monday.
McCune had been the Nevada Division of Insurance chief examiner since December 2009. He oversaw whether companies had sufficient money in reserves to cover claims and obligations.