Final arguments are expected today in the trial of Rocky Boice Jr., who is accused of killing Sammy Resendiz.
Court is scheduled to convene at 8:30 a.m. as District Judge Mike Griffin reads instructions to the jury. District Attorney Noel Waters then is expected to begin the prosecution's argument for conviction.
Boice is one of nine Native Americans accused of participating in the beating that killed Resendiz and injured Carlos Lainez on Aug. 23, 1998, at the Roundhouse Motel in Carson City. He is charged under Nevada's felony-murder statute, which makes any killing committed during the commission of certain other felonies -- in this case burglary -- a first-degree murder.
Boice, 23, is the first of the defendants to face trial. He could be sentenced life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Boice's lawyer Laurence Lichter is expected to argue that what his client did was in self defense. He will try to convince jurors that the charge can't be applied because there was no burglary and, if no felony was committed, there was no felony murder.
To help jurors apply the law, Griffin will begin the proceedings by reading a list of more than 80 instructions that lay out the different options -- ranging from a not-guilty verdict to battery, manslaughter, second-degree murder or first-degree murder.
Those instructions spell out the different elements of each of those offenses. They also explain such things as how to legally apply character evidence and other materials introduced during the course of the two-week trial.