Inmate in police killing denied sentence reduction |

Back to: Local

Inmate in police killing denied sentence reduction

John Steven Olausen, who has now been in prison more than 30 years for his part in the murder of a drug detective, has lost his latest attempt to get his sentence reduced.

He along with Edward Wilson, David Lani and Fred Stites were convicted in 1979 of the murder of undercover Reno police detective James Hoff.

Hoff was stabbed to death during a drug buy gone wrong.

Wilson and Olausen were originally sentenced to death but those sentences were overturned in court and commuted to life without possible parole.

Olausen’s latest motion filed in December 2011 sought to modify his sentence to allow the possibility of parole. He argued he entered a guilty plea based on his lawyer’s misrepresentation of what sentence he would receive.

Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer rejected that argument and Olausen appealed.

The Supreme Court this week agreed with Steinheimer that Olausen “failed to demonstrate that the district court relies on mistaken assumptions regarding his criminal record.”

The high court affirmed the rejection of Olausen’s motion.