Life sentence handed down for Fernley murder

YERINGTON - Samantha Tubbs will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing a 76-year-old Fernley woman in September.

Third District Court Judge Archie Blake on Monday sentenced Tubbs, 22, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. Tubbs also received consecutive six- to 15-year sentences for burglary and an enhancement for murdering someone age 65 or older.

A dozen relatives of victim Ethel Booten traveled across the state and from as far way as Oregon, New Mexico and Mississippi to hear the sentencing of Tubbs and her partner in crime, Ray Colledge.

Lyon County District Attorney Robert Estes was pleased with the sentence. He said her young age could have led to a more lenient sentence.

"She got the absolute maximum the law allows," Estes said.

Colledge also received a maximum sentence of two to five years for being an accessory to murder with a consecutive sentence of four to 10 years for burglary.

Both Tubbs and Colledge pleaded guilty in January before their separate trials started.

Evidence shows that Colledge drove Tubbs to Fernley on Sept. 30, 1999, to burglarize Booten's home. Tubbs told the judge that she thought nobody was home when she and Colledge broke in. She said a struggle followed and then Booten was dead, Estes said.

Booten was the mother of Tubbs' former boyfriend, who lived with his mother but was not at home at the time of the murder.

Estes said murder convictions often don't lead to maximum sentences.

"Somewhere along the line as Americans we've become complacent with crime," Estes said. "We are so concerned about the suspect that we lose sight of the fact that there are victims. I wasn't surprised (Tubbs got the maximum sentence), but since sentencing is the province of the judge, I could have understood if it went either way. She is young. "


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