Sixth case sent back to Las Vegas judge for not hearing defendant's side of appeal

The Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed another ruling by Clark County District Judge Don Mosley on grounds he did not give the defendant a chance to argue his case at an evidentiary hearing.

Seven rulings have been reversed in the past month by the high court -- six of them where Mosley was the judge.

The latest was the case of Martin Desales Hayes who, like the others, claimed among other things that his legal counsel was ineffective.

Like the other cases, the district court conducted a hearing on the merits of the claims. But the defendant making the appeal wasn't present at the hearing nor was post-conviction counsel appointed to represent him.

The high court held in an Aug. 2 ruling in Gebers vs. State that a petitioner's statutory rights are violated when the district court conducts evidentiary hearings on the merits of his claims without the petitioner present and represented.

Hayes' case was sent back to Mosley for a new evidentiary hearing at which he is present and allowed to present his arguments.

The ruling cites the Gebers case. The same logic was used in the criminal cases involving habeas petitions by Thomas Blonquist, William Ferguson, George Luster and John Hawkins -- all of whom were denied by Mosley after hearings where the defendants were not present or represented.

In addition, the court made a similar ruling in the case of John Flowers, which was also remanded for a new evidentiary hearing on the merits of his claims before Clark County Judge Michael Douglas.


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